September 15, 2015
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Phone Number: (206) 553-5443
Long-Time Drug Trafficker And Money Launderer Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Supplying Drugs To Alaska And Missouri
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - - On September 14, 2015, Steven Nicholas Taylor, aka “Nicky”, aka “Louie V”, 44, was sentenced in Alaska U.S. District Court for his convictions in two separate federal cases. In the Alaska case, Taylor was sentenced on his pleas of guilty for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, primarily cocaine, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. In a separate but related case arising in the Eastern District of Missouri, Taylor was sentenced on his plea of guilty for drug trafficking conspiracy.
The court imposed a 15-year composite sentence on Taylor for both cases, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Taylor also agreed in his plea agreement to forfeit and abandon any interest in his Seattle home, which, according to the investigation, he was actively attempting to sell so that he could finance future drug trafficking activities.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis was very pleased with the sentence, stating that, “The dedicated work of our prosecutors and investigators, have shut down this extremely calculating career criminal for a long time.”
According to court documents, Taylor and his accomplices were major sources of supply for cocaine in Alaska going back 20 years. In the late 1990’s, Taylor was charged in Seattle as being part of a continuing criminal enterprise that supplied drugs to Alaska as early as 1991. In that case, Taylor was convicted of drug conspiracy, money laundering, and interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and served 121 months in federal prison. Court documents reflect that in 2009, shortly after court-ordered supervision was terminated in the Seattle case, Taylor resumed drug trafficking operations with several of the same accomplices, and supplied cocaine and other drugs to Alaska and Missouri. In the Alaska case, the court found that Taylor directed the activities of Timothy Northcutt, Joseph Irving, Etienne Devoe, Leonard Charles, Joshua Haynes, and others.
At sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Russo, who prosecuted the Alaska case, called Taylor a “drug-trafficking aficionado,” who was caught on court-ordered wiretaps discussing drug trafficking with co-conspirators in hundreds of conversations. According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, Taylor also was caught on the wiretaps discussing Department of Justice press releases on drug traffickers in Alaska, as well as the outcomes of those cases. During the wiretap investigation, Taylor was particularly concerned about the outcome of the case involving Terrance Fleming, and admitted on recorded conversations that he supplied Fleming with 15 kilograms of cocaine that were seized by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. In total, Taylor admitted to supplying between 15 and 50 kilograms of cocaine to Alaska, as well as an additional five to 15 kilograms to Missouri. In his sentencing comments, the court noted that Taylor knew the consequences of drug dealing but chose to victimize society.
Taylor also directed and instructed his co-conspirators on money laundering. The purpose of the money laundering was the continuation of Taylor’s drug conspiracy operation, from which Taylor was the primary beneficiary. Devoe, Northcutt, Leonard, and Charles participated in the money laundering activities, including exchanging text messages with Taylor on how to launder the money, and what bank accounts to use.
Taylor’s co-defendants in the case received the following sentences:
• James Brown, Sr., 56 months
• Leonard D. Charles, 60 months
• Etienne Q. Devoe, 126 months
• Shawn Cortez Cloyd, 36 months
• Timothy W. Northcutt, 72 months
• Joshua J. Haynes, 30 months
• Gabrielle P. Haynes, 18 months
• Joseph E. Irving, 21 months
The Alaska case was prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Frank Russo of the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska, and was investigated by the Drug Enforcement (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service Criminal (IRS-CI), and the United States Postal Inspector (UPSIS). The Missouri case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Davis in St. Louis, and was investigated by the St. Louis divisions of the DEA and USPIS.