Drug seizure in Valdez leads to federal charges
April bust uncovered gruesome allegations of torturous assaults
An April drug bust by Valdez police uncovered evidence of crimes committed in Anchorage that allegedly involve sexual torture, kidnapping and other crimes involving drugs and firearms according to a press release issued by Frank Russo, Asst. US Attorney for the District of Alaska.
Valdez police arrested last April Timothy Miller after seizing a tan Yukon registered in his name. Miller came to police attention after a tipster alerted police that Devon Totemoff, who had two outstanding Anchorage warrants and was in Miller’s company, had been spotted in Valdez.
At the time, police said the seizure of approximately 1.5 pounds of narcotics, with an estimated street value of $100,000, represented the largest single narcotic drug seizure in Valdez history.
Police also found disturbing evidence of violent crimes committed outside its jurisdiction.
“We assisted in that case,” Valdez police chief Bill Comer said. “There was key evidence found.”
According to police accounts and Russo’s press release, federal indictments claim Miller, and associates Phosavan Khamnivong, age 33, Anaoi Sialfi, age 25, and Stuart Seugasala, age 38, engaged in “home invasions” of other drug dealers “in order to obtain controlled substances for distribution…”
The indictment also describes a March incident where Miller allegedly shot cell phone video footage of a torturous rape involving two victims and a curling iron, which the indictment claims was carried out at Seagasala’s order as “retribution” for an unpaid drug debt. Russo alleges the video footage was kept to “…so that it shown to others who owed them drug debts.”
The sexual assaults allegedly took place in Miller’s apartment after the victims were kidnapped during one of the gang’s home invasions.
“Days later, the indictment alleges that Seugasala shot another person…” the press release said.
The violent crimes have led to a yet another indictment against Stacy Laulu, an employee of an unidentified medical center in Anchorage, where two of the three victims were treated. Prosecutors claim Laulu provided Seugasla confidential health information about the injuries and treatments of the victims.
Russo said Laulu has been indicted on two charges involving violations of the HIPPA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, “by disclosing protected health information to another for malicious harm.”
“Millers associates certainly raised some red flags,” Comer said. “These guys are in big trouble.”
Federal prosecutors, while noting all defendants are considered innocent unless convicted in a court of law, said the penalties for the drug conspiracy charges are ten years to life in prison, a $10 million fine, and at least five years of supervised release. The kidnapping charges carry potential life sentences, and the firearms charges carry mandatory minimum consecutive sentences of five and 25 years, respectively. The HIPPA violation carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.