Three Las Vegas men have been indicted on federal charges of trafficking cocaine between Nevada and Alaska.
Bryan M. Bledsoe, 36; Dewane E. Blue, 37 and 47-year-old Daren D. Cole appeared before a grand jury Wednesday for conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, according to documents released by the Anchorage district attorney’s office.
The indictment alleges that the drug smuggling operation has been active since 2012. Blue would obtain the drugs for distribution from Las Vegas to Alaska and other states, said the Anchorage district attorney’s office. Blue would then give the cocaine to Bledsoe, who worked at the McCarran International Airport. As an airport employee, Bledsoe could circumvent airport security and transfer the drugs to passengers’ carry-on luggage in the terminal.
Money to pay for the drugs would be shipped back to Blue in Las Vegas, according to the documents. The indictment details that 12 parcels containing drug proceeds were sent from Anchorage. Authorities seized four of the parcels, containing more than $400,000 in cash.
On Jun. 1, 2014, Cole dropped off money to Blue to facilitate another drug transaction. Later that day, Blue met with Bledsoe to drop off approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine for Bledsoe to carry into McCarran and circumvent security, according to the indictment. The cocaine was then given back to Cole in an airport bathroom. Investigators seized the drugs and arrested Cole before he boarded his flight to Anchorage.
Cole is currently in custody in Anchorage. Bledsoe and Blue were arrested sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, says the district attorney’s office. The two are awaiting initial appearances in Las Vegas federal court.
If proven guilty, the three men each face a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10 million fine.
The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska, which has been assisted by the Nevada office. Multiple agencies in both states, including the Drug Enforcement Administration in Anchorage and the Anchorage Police Department, were involved in the ongoing investigation.