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Anchorage Drug Dealer Sentenced to 90 Months in Federal Prison

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 12, 2009
  • District of Alaska (907) 271-5071

ANCHORAGE, AK—United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced that Ropati Talamaivao, a resident of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage to 90 months for his convictions of drug trafficking conspiracy and distribution of controlled substances.

Chief United States District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline imposed the sentence on Talamaivao, age 27.

According to information presented to the court by Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin White, the defendant conspired with Letane Fagaese Fesolai to sell methamphetamine to a government informant on two separate occasions in 2008. Acting together, Talamaivao and Fesolai distributed 10.99 grams of pure methamphetamine. Fesolai pled guilty to a charge of drug trafficking conspiracy and will be sentenced on December 17, 2009.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Beistline noted Talamaivao’s extensive criminal history and found that Talamaivao has been a threat to the community for years. In the past, Talamaivao has been involved in street shootings, drug sales, and the possession of stolen firearms. Talamaivao has also resisted arrest by fleeing from the police and escaping from the Glenwood Center halfway house in a previous case. On May 14, 2005, Talamaivao’s brother, Tinius Talamaivao, was killed during a liquor store shooting. Given Talamaivao’s family history, Judge Beistline found that Talamaivao had first-hand knowledge of the dangers of criminal behavior and should have known better. Finding that Talamaivao was a drug addict, a drug dealer, a bully, and a threat to the community, Judge Beistline fashioned a sentenced to protect the public, rather than focusing on rehabilitating Talamaivao. As Judge Beistline noted, Talamaivao has been “treated leniently way too long.”

Ms. Loeffler commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Talamaivao. Ms. White is one of two prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office who are funded by the Municipality of Anchorage for the purpose of prosecuting gang-related and violent crime cases.

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