July 15, 2011
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Phone Number: (206) 553-1162
Washington Man Convicted In Federal Court Of Drug Trafficking Conspiracy
ANCHORAGE - Mark Thomas, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Seattle Field Division, announced that on July 13, 2011, a federal jury in Anchorage found a Washington man guilty of one count of attempted possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine, with the intent to distribute.
After deliberating for only one hour, the jury returned the guilty verdict for Otagus Demond Coverson, 37, a resident of Renton, Washington. Coverson was tried before United States District Judge Timothy M. Burgess.
The evidence presented at trial established the Coverson was apprehended after being monitored and recorded arranging to import nine kilograms of cocaine into Alaska from suppliers in Washington State. The drugs were originally intercepted by the Oregon State Police on July 9, 2009, while being smuggled through Oregon from California. A Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force then replaced the seized cocaine with imitation narcotics, and used a series of undercover operations to identify and arrest each link in the chain of the supply through Oregon and Washington.
That chain of supply led ultimately to the identification of Coverson, a Washington resident who was present in Alaska in July 2009. Coverson was then monitored as he communicated with multiple persons in his supply chain to facilitate the transfer of the cocaine through Seattle to Anchorage. On July 14, 2009, Coverson accepted and opened a postal service parcel matching the description provided by his cocaine source in Seattle, and was subsequently arrested.
Otagus Demond Coverson is scheduled to be sentenced on October 28, 2011. Due to Coverson’s criminal history and nature of the offense, the law provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison, and a fine of $8 million, or both.
This investigation that led to the prosecution of Coverson was conducted by the Drug Enforcement (DEA), the Alaska State Troopers, Anchorage International Airport Police and Fire, Anchorage Police Department, Oregon State Police, Internal Revenue Service- Criminal Investigation, and Port of Seattle Police.