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Anchorage woman gets more than 3 years for laundering drug money

  • Author: Alaska Dispatch News
  • Updated: July 20, 2016
  • Published July 20, 2016

Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday a woman tied to an Anchorage drug ring that funneled part of its profits through a nail salon, has been sentenced to more than three years in prison on a money laundering charge.

Kasey Jo Martinez is one of seven defendants tied to the drug ring, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alaska. She received a 40-month sentence.

Law enforcement started investigating several people believed to be selling heroin and methamphetamine throughout Southcentral in summer 2014, prosecutors said. They conducted surveillance on Fashion Nails, a salon tucked into a Muldoon area strip mall owned by codefendant Toa Danh "Tony" Ly.

The observations established that drug money was generally deposited into Ly's bank accounts by Martinez and others, prosecutors said. On Jan. 14, 2015, officers simultaneously searched seven locations tied to the drug ring. They stopped Martinez in a Wells Fargo bank parking lot; she had $2,000 she planned to deposit into Ly's account, prosecutors said.

Financial records showed Martinez made three separate deposits over the past month, totaling $19,500, according to sentencing arguments. All of the defendants are alleged to have deposited over $350,000 into Ly's accounts, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason noted while Martinez did not sell the drugs herself, her involvement spread meth and heroin in and around Anchorage. Martinez's actions impacted "mothers, daughters, fathers and sons in the community," the judge said.

Ly has pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges. His sentencing is set for Dec. 2.

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