September 05, 2014
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Phone Number: (206) 553-5443
Three Indicted For Conspiracy To Traffic Cocaine By Circumventing Airport Security
SEATTLE - A grand jury indictment was unsealed on August 27, 2014, charging three men with conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine between Las Vegas and Alaska. The indictment charges three men: Daren D. Cole, 47, Dewane E. Blue, 37, and Bryan M. Bledsoe, 36.
The indictment alleges that since 2012, Blue would obtain cocaine for distribution in Alaska and other states, and then give the cocaine to Bledsoe, an airport employee, who would bring the drugs into McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada, without passing through security. Inside the terminal, Bledsoe would then meet with Blue or others after they had gone through airport security screening, and provide them with the drugs. The drugs would be placed in the traveler’s carry-on baggage for distribution to Alaska and other states. Drug proceeds would be shipped back to Blue and other conspirators using the mail or parcel services. The indictment details 12 parcels containing drug proceeds that were sent from Anchorage to Las Vegas. Four of the parcels were seized by law enforcement, containing a total of $414,230 in cash. The indictment seeks forfeiture of this money, along with several vehicles.
The indictment further alleges that on June 1, 2014, Cole dropped off the money to Blue to facilitate a later drug transaction. Later that day, Blue met with Bledsoe for the purpose of providing him with approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine for Bledsoe to carry into the airport. The indictment states that Bledsoe then used his airport credentials to enter secure areas of McCarran International Airport terminals. It is further alleged that Bledsoe transferred the cocaine to Blue, who gave it to Cole in an airport bathroom. Coles was arrested on June 1, when investigators seized the 10 kilograms before he boarded his flight to Anchorage.
Cole was subsequently indicted in Alaska for attempting to distribute the cocaine in Alaska, and is currently in custody in Anchorage. Bledsoe and Blue were arrested August 27-28, 2014 and appeared in federal court in Las Vegas for initial appearances on the Alaska charges.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Postal Inspection Service, FBI Anchorage Safe Streets Task Force, Anchorage Police Department, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Henderson Police Department, and the North Las Vegas Police Department. The Clark County Department of Aviation has provided invaluable assistance to law enforcement’s efforts since the seizure of cocaine in the airport on June 1. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Alaska, which has been assisted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada.
The maximum penalties for the drug conspiracy charge include a minimum of 10 years in prison and maximum of life in prison, a $10 million fine, and at least five years of supervised release. The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.