Press Release

Anchorage Gang Member Sentenced in Rural Drug Distribution

February 12, 2010

Nome, Alaska A member of the Crips gang in the Mountain View neighborhood in Anchorage has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in distributing crack cocaine in Kotzebue.

On Thursday, Judge Ben Esch imposed the sentence on Hakim Giddins, 29, an Anchorage resident and a fugitive parolee from California.

The case began in November 2007 when Kotzebue police served a search warrant on the residence of McKyle Schumann, while Giddins was present. Police seized about 72 grams of crack cocaine packaged for distribution in 189 individually wrapped baggies, and they arrested Giddins and two Kotzebue residents on drug charges.

Charges against Giddins were dismissed two years ago, but after resolving the cases against his co-defendants, the state re-indicted him in November 2008 for misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree and conspiracy to commit misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree. The conspiracy charge arose out of Giddins' involvement in distributing about 8 ounces of crack cocaine in Kotzebue during the month prior to his arrest.

Giddins was convicted by a Kotzebue jury after a trial in August 2009.

At his sentencing hearing Thursday, an Anchorage police officer testified to Giddins' gang membership. Judge Esch pronounced Giddins dangerous and in need of isolation to protect the community. He noted that Giddins had two prior felony convictions, one for witness tampering in Anchorage, and another for transporting drugs and conspiracy in California, and that he had been adjudicated a delinquent for a manslaughter case while a juvenile. In the past 14 years, Giddins has been in jail or on probation for all but six weeks.

"We certainly hope this sends a message to drug dealers," said Dwayne McConnell, supervising assistant attorney general in the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals. "And that message is pretty simple: It doesn't matter where you go in Alaska; we're coming after you."

# # #