News Release
August 15, 2008
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Number: (206) 553-1162

Pot Traffickers Net Prison Terms and Forfeit $1 Million in Assets

AUG 15 -- (ANCHORAGE, AK) – DEA Special Agent in Charge Arnold R. Moorin and United States Attorney for the District of Alaska, Nelson P. Cohen, announced today, August 15, 2008, that Patrick N. McIlvain, Rachel H. Ross and James C. Adams, II, all residents of Wasilla, Alaska were sentenced in federal court in Anchorage for their convictions of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Harvey Goehring noted, “This is yet another example of Federal, State and Local law enforcement working together with the end result being a safer community for all.”

McIlvain, who was convicted of two money laundering counts and drug conspiracy, was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Adams was sentenced to the mandatory minimum five years in prison and Ross was sentenced to ten months. One other defendant who was charged as the leader, David Knutson of Vancouver, British Columbia, remains a fugitive of justice.

McIlvain and Ross, husband and wife, were ordered to forfeit their residence at 5645 N. Hiett Drive, Wasilla, Alaska. Adams agreed to forfeit the proceeds from the sale of his residence at 3751 S. Knik Goose Bay Road, Wasilla, Alaska. In all, the defendants agreed to the forfeiture of cash, snow machines, motor vehicles, and their residences as instrumentalities and proceeds of the marijuana conspiracy, worth approximately $1 million.

According to information presented to the court by prosecutors, from January 2004 until March 2007, Johnston and his co-conspirators utilized the Alcan Highway to smuggle more than 100 kilograms of “B.C Bud” marijuana from British Columbia for distribution in Alaska. The group smuggled their marijuana by means of snow machines in the winter and concealed compartments in vehicles in the summer. After the conspiracy was disrupted by law enforcement, Johnston then grew marijuana in his Sutton residence, rendering the residence to forfeiture under federal law.

Nelson P. Cohen commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, Alaska State Troopers Mat-Su Valley ABADE Unit, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of McIlvain, Ross and Adams.