Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wasilla Snow Job

The Anchorage Daily News is reporting on the Wasilla couple that tried to launder BIG BUCKS through a snow plow and paint business that they operated locally.  A million dollars in proceeds from their marijuana sales "laundered" through a snow plow business, even allowing that this is Alaska, any doubt why the authorities caught on?  Reporter K.T. McKee's account follows:

"A Wasilla couple was arrested on federal drug and money laundering charges this week by state and federal law enforcement officials.   They pleaded not guilty to the charges in federal court Wednesday.

Trace Rae Thoms, 46, and his wife, Jennifer Anne Thoms, 36, of 7974 Scarlet Circle in Wasilla, had allegedly used a painting business and a snow plowing operation to funnel more than $1 million in proceeds from a large marijuana operation on 12.63 acres at that address. Alaska State Troopers raided the property on Feb. 22. Troopers seized 511 pot plants weighing 214 pounds, $82,945 in cash, two guns, a Ford F-250, a Volvo front-end loader, a large enclosed utility trailer, five snow machines and an ATV.

The Thoms are scheduled to be tried on the charges Sept. 27.   Prosecutors are recommending they be held in jail until their trial because they are considered flight risks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephan Collins said Thursday.

'They are alleged to have used businesses known as Ace the Painter and Plow Now, as well as personal bank accounts to pass a million dollars over the last six years,' Collins said. 

A call to their Plow Now business number on Scarlet Circle on Thursday by a reporter resulted in a series of beeps without any sort of voice mail capability.   A Google search, as well as a search of a state business database, for "Ace the Painter" did not result in any such business listing.

Collins said the law provides for a maximum sentence of life in prison for Trace Thoms and a minimum of 10 years with no possibility of parole or probation. Jennifer Thoms faces between five years and 40 years if found guilty. Both were charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury July 23.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of personal property believed to have been used in the operation, as well as jewelry and other items of value investigators believe were purchased with the drug money.

Agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigations unit, and Alaska State Troopers worked together in the investigation, according to the Alaska U.S. attorney's office."
Grass stains laundered white as snow, um . . . not quite.

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