A federal indictment unsealed Friday charges three people with kidnapping and killing two women near Trapper Creek in Mat-Su as part of a larger drug trafficking operation involving significant amounts of fentanyl.
Heraclio Sanchez-Rodriguez, 56, Tamara Denise Bren, 41, and Kevin Glenn Peterson II, 29, were all in custody Friday, authorities said. They are accused of kidnapping and killing 30-year-old Sunday Powers and 34-year-old Kami Clark on May 22, according to the federal grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.
Sanchez-Rodriguez was incarcerated in California and used contraband cellphones in prison to arrange for drugs to be shipped from his suppliers in Mexico to California and Oregon before being mailed to Alaska and elsewhere, the indictment said. He recruited Bren to work for him while she was incarcerated at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center here, it said.
Peterson received the shipped drugs and distributed them, the indictment said.
Since March of 2022, the group shipped more than 33 kilograms of fentanyl, 11 kilograms of methamphetamine, 4 kilograms of heroin and 57 grams of cocaine to Alaska, according to the indictment.
The group began discussing plans to kidnap Clark and Powers several months before they acted, the indictment said.
The indictment said Powers and Clark were killed “in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise,” but does not otherwise provide details about how the women knew the group or why they were targeted to be abducted and killed.
The group used tracking applications to confirm the location of Powers and Clark and organized multiple vehicles to meet near Trapper Creek the day that they carried out the kidnapping, the indictment said. They restrained Powers and Clark through a carjacking and drove them to a hidden location where they were fatally shot, it said.
Powers had made a 911 call during the abduction that was terminated by the people kidnapping her, the indictment said. The women were reported missing two days after the call and their bodies were not found until June 2, troopers said.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Anchorage Police Department and Alaska State Troopers.
Sanchez-Rodriguez, Bren and Peterson were indicted on Oct. 18 on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, killing in furtherance of continuing criminal enterprise, kidnapping conspiracy, kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death and use of a firearm to commit murder in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Bren and Peterson were also charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska rather than the state Department of Law because of the ongoing drug trafficking enterprise, troopers said in a statement Friday.
In a separate federal grand jury indictment unsealed this week, federal prosecutors on Friday announced over a dozen charges against 10 individuals accused of “running a large-scale drug trafficking ring in Alaska.”
The 16 charges include money laundering, as well as possession and distribution of controlled substances, specified in the indictment as large quantities of methamphetamine and fentanyl. Prosecutors describe 38-year-old Christina Reyna Quintana as the “principal administrator, organizer, supervisor, and leader of the criminal enterprise” from within Hiland Mountain Correctional Center.
Quintana is serving a 22 1/2-year sentence on a federal conviction for traveling from California to Sitka in 2018 and “shooting a woman in both kneecaps over drug debt,” Reagan Zimmerman, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Anchorage, wrote in a prepared statement Friday.
Zimmerman declined to confirm whether the two cases are connected.
Bren and Peterson, charged in the Trapper Creek case, have been in custody since June on separate state charges. Sanchez-Rodriguez has been in custody at the Anchorage Correctional Complex since Thursday, online court records show. He’s scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 3.
In the other case, Quintana and her nine co-defendants are all in custody, two of them in jurisdictions outside of Alaska.