Crime & Courts

6 face federal charges in drug trafficking enterprise prosecutors say led to an Anchorage murder

A former Anchorage resident involved with a prolific drug dealing ring that brought heroin and methamphetamine to Alaska has been federally charged with the 2019 murder of an Anchorage man, federal prosecutors announced Monday.

Several other current or former Anchorage residents also face related charges stemming from the drug ring, the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska said.

Five of the six men charged either live in or lived in Anchorage: Jordan Shanholtzer, 33, described as the ringleader, Matthew Moi, 35, Kenneth Ford, 29, Myrick Elliott, 34, and Isaiah Roderick, 21, were all charged with drug and money launder conspiracy. A sixth man, Marvin Nelson, 55, of Itta Bena, Mississippi, was also charged.

Moi was also charged with killing in furtherance of a criminal conspiracy and using a firearm to commit murder in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Shanholtzer was also charged with directing a criminal enterprise.

According to the recently unsealed indictment in the case, the alleged drug ring operated from January 2017 to October 2019.

The indictment says Shanholtzer operated an enterprise importing heroin and methamphetamine to Alaska, usually through U.S. mail packages. As the business grew, Shanholtzer moved out of state from Anchorage to Arizona and later Florida, allegedly putting the Alaska drug business in the hands of Matthew Moi.

The indictment alleges that Moi murdered Anchorage man Navarrow Andrews in April 2019, because he believed Andrews had stolen a package of drugs. Andrews was found dead off Taku Drive in East Anchorage with a gunshot wound, Anchorage Police Department said at the time. He was 23. Moi then fled the state, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The drug ring ended in September 2019, when a package of heroin bound for Mat-Su was intercepted by police. Some of the members were charged with drug conspiracy at the time.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a reporter who covers news and features about life in Alaska, and has been focusing on corrections and psychiatric care issues in the state. Contact her at