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Eight charged in California-to-Alaska drug distribution network

US Attorney Nick Hanna speaks in front of flags
The office of U.S. Atty. Nick Hanna, shown during a news conference in June, charged eight people in what was described as a drug distribution network that shipped bulk quantities of cocaine from Compton to Alaska.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Federal authorities have charged eight people in what they described as a drug distribution network that shipped bulk quantities of cocaine from Compton to Alaska.

Using women as couriers, the ring sent cocaine and other narcotics to Alaska and Oregon on commercial flights, an indictment says. The document, which indicates that investigators had secretly been monitoring the group’s phone calls and reading their text messages, describes a series of drug transactions that took place between April 2015 and August 2016.

Asia Dawnta Williams, a resident of Chicago, was caught trying to smuggle nearly 150 grams of heroin onto a flight out of Los Angeles International Airport in her clothing, the indictment says. Another woman, who wasn’t charged or identified, successfully snuck a kilogram of cocaine onto a flight out of Long Beach Airport and delivered it to a conspirator in Oregon, according to the indictment.

In the parking lot of an Anchorage motel, Natasha Monique Bushner, a resident of Los Angeles, delivered a package containing nearly 2 kilograms of cocaine to Margus Gipson, a resident of Compton, the indictment says. Authorities interrupted the handoff and seized the cocaine and $12,500 in cash.

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Another woman, Miecha Martinique Reva Gunn, “would recruit female couriers to transport controlled substances and cash drug proceeds,” the indictment charges.

It couldn’t be determined from court records Wednesday whether any of the defendants had lawyers.

Raul Cisneros Jr., a 42-year-old resident of Compton, is portrayed in the indictment as the network’s supplier. In October 2015, after overhearing discussions of a drug debt with a conspirator, investigators seized from Cisneros 23 kilograms of cocaine, 3 kilograms of methamphetamine, crack cocaine base and $568,357 in cash, according to the indictment. Cisneros was also carrying four handguns, it says.


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