JUNEAU – A Juneau man was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to 10 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.
According to court documents, Kevin Leonard-Kinney, 45, pleaded guilty in May 2019 to trafficking methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine to Alaska and distributed in the Juneau area between May and August 2018. Records indicate that in addition to personally carrying illegal drugs on multiple flights between California and Alaska, Leonard-Kinney conspired with Jennifer Greenberg, 45, of California, and Chantal Epstein, 31, of Alaska to use the United States Postal Service to transport drugs.
Epstein accepted parcels of illegal drugs at her residence in Juneau for Leonard-Kinney which were sent from California by Greenberg. In August 2018, U.S. Postal Inspectors identified a suspicious package and a drug detection canine positively identified the scent of controlled substances in the package. A search of the package revealed a speaker containing 1,351 gross grams of methamphetamine, 159.43 gross grams of heroin and 28.8 gross grams of cocaine. Law enforcement removed the original narcotics and inserted representative samples into the parcel along with two tracking and monitoring devices. Surveillance teams followed and observed the package being picked up by Epstein and given to Leonard-Kinney who in turn drove around town and then left it in his parked vehicle. Hours later Epstein removed the package and took it to Leonard-Kinney’s hotel room. Law enforcement entered the room and placed Leonard-Kinney and Epstein into custody. During a search of the hotel room, officers found methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, drug paraphernalia and more than $40,000 in cash. They also found multiple firearms including five pistols, an AR-15 rifle, numerous rounds of ammunition and magazines. After obtaining a search warrant for Epstein’s residence, officers found additional drugs and cash.
In separate hearings on related charges, Epstein was sentenced to five years in federal prison and five years of supervised release; and Greenberg was sentenced to two years in federal prison and five years of supervised release.
“Illicit narcotics are a cancer in our society and many Southeast communities have suffered at the hands of this epidemic for years,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson of the District of Alaska. “The trail of destruction caused by the distribution and use of methamphetamine and heroin in communities like Juneau has been particularly devastating. We take drug trafficking crimes very seriously and will continue to vigorously prosecute traffickers for their illegal actions.”
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service remains steadfast in our commitment to investigate any criminal use of the U.S. Mail, and the shipment of illegal narcotics remains one of our highest priorities,” said Inspector in Charge Anthony Galetti, “the actions of these defendants have untold harm on the Alaskan community, and now they will be held accountable. We thank the USAO and our local partners for their assistance in bringing these defendants to justice.”
The Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs Task Force (SEACAD) investigated the case. SEACAD is a proactive task force comprised of law enforcement officers from the Juneau, Petersburg, Sitka, Haines, Craig, Wrangell, Cordova, Hoonah, Ketchikan, Skagway and Yukutat police departments, Alaska State Troopers, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service whose primary goal is to reduce illegal drug trafficking in Southeast Alaska. It is a cooperative agreement in which all Southeast cities, the Alaska State Troopers and Federal Law Enforcement partners have agreed to pool resources and collaborate to combat drug trafficking and distribution anywhere in Southeast Alaska. Tips can be submitted online at http://juneaucrimeline.com/
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt prosecuted the case.