February 24, 2015
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (206) 553-5443
Wasilla Man Sentenced To 85 Months In Prison For Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - On February 23, 2015, a Wasilla man was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason to serve 84 months in federal prison for his role in a heroin trafficking conspiracy.
James Gwaltney, 38, of Wasilla, Alaska, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute more than 1.6 kilograms of heroin throughout the Anchorage area. As part of his plea, Gwaltney admitted that in October 2013, he and co-defendant Baretta Faatafuga received an Express Mail package from California containing heroin that had been concealed inside a Sentry Safe. Both co-defendants intended to distribute the heroin to others.
Upon his release from prison, Gwaltney will remain under court supervision for five years, during which time he must complete 200 hours of community service. The court took into consideration at sentencing, Gwaltney’s possession of both the heroin itself as well as drug packaging materials, a scale, multiple cell phones and laptop computers, as well as $5000 in cash. In sentencing Gwaltney, Judge Gleason noted the seriousness of Gwaltney’s offense and the dangers of both drugs and drug addiction.
Gwaltney’s co-defendant, Baretta Faatafuga, was previously sentenced by Judge Gleason to serve a term of 90 months in prison. At the time of Faatafuga’s sentencing, Judge Gleason emphasized the dangerous and negative impact caused by bringing drugs into our community and noted that many families are destroyed by heroin. Together, the sentences of both men will protect the Anchorage community for years to come.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Alaska State Troopers.