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Two Mountain View Elementary employees indicted on drug conspiracy charges

Devin Kelly

Two Mountain View Elementary employees were indicted on federal drug conspiracy charges this month, according to officials and court filings.

On March 18, a grand jury indicted Cha Tony Vue and Thony Yang on charges of possessing and intending to distribute methamphetamine, court records show.

A day later, the Anchorage School District fired both men from their jobs at the elementary school, where Vue worked as a special education teacher aide and Yang as a noon duty on the playground, said Heidi Embley, a district spokeswoman.

"As soon as we heard about it, we took action and terminated their employment immediately," Embley said.

Vue was hired in 2007 and transferred to Mountain View Elementary a few months later, Embley said. Yang was hired in February, she said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Cavanaugh said activities alleged in the indictment did not involve the men's jobs at the school.

"There are no allegations that any of this happened on school grounds," Cavanaugh said.

According to a sworn statement written by Joseph M. Soeka, a task force officer with the Drug Enforcement Agency, agents and officers in Modesto, Calif., in the course of a drug investigation, detected methamphetamine in a FedEx package being shipped from California to Anchorage. Agents obtained a search warrant from a Stanislaus County judge and opened the package, which contained about 3.28 pounds of methamphetamine, Soeka wrote in the statement.

The package was transported to Anchorage and replaced with fake narcotics and other items to alert investigators if someone opened the package and handled the materials, according to Soeka. On March 6, the package was delivered to an address in the 8100 block of Peck Avenue in Muldoon.

About 40 minutes later, Soeka wrote, authorities watched as a gray minivan drove to the home and a man, identified as Vue, got out of the van and picked up the package. According to Soeka, Vue then drove the package to his residence in a mobile home park near Northway Mall.

Shortly after, authorities were alerted through monitoring devices that the package had been opened. When Vue appeared on the front porch, he was stopped by law enforcement officers, who entered the home to find the box with the fake narcotics on the couch inside, Soeka wrote.

Vue "stated he had opened the parcel and that he accepted the delivery because he needed the money for medical bills," Soeka wrote.

Vue also said he was working with Thony Yang to coordinate the package's delivery, according to Soeka. Investigators recovered multiple text messages between the two about the delivery, Soeka wrote.

During a search of Vue's home, authorities also found "a stolen handgun, multiple bags of suspected methamphetamine, scales, distribution-sized baggies, documents consistent with drug ledgers, bulk U.S. currency and drug paraphernalia," Soeka wrote.

Later that day, Yang was stopped in a car near Sixth Avenue and Cherry Street, Soeka wrote, which is in Muldoon. In an interview with authorities, Yang said he was supposed to receive the package with Vue at the delivery address and that it contained about 3 pounds of crystal meth, according to Soeka.

Yang also told investigators that he was the one who contacted the sender in California for the drugs and sent the payment but that Vue organized the payment, according to Soeka.

A trial date has been set for May 27.

Reach Devin Kelly at dkelly@adn.com or 257-4314.


By DEVIN KELLY
dkelly@adn.com