A Kodiak man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for drug possession with intent to distribute and money laundering on Tuesday.
Luke Bunting, 23, previously pled guilty to both counts and was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to serve 18 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, including six months of home confinement and 200 hours of community service.
Court documents stated that between May and July 2018, the United States Postal Inspection Service intercepted four parcels that contained “bulk quantities” of marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms and alprazolam pills that were being shipped to Bunting’s post office box in Kodiak.
Following the interception of two of these parcels in May 2018, Bunting was spotted coming into the post office to inquire why he hadn’t received the parcels.
On May 13, 2019, an investigator spotted and filmed Bunting depositing $5,000 into his account at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union. Later that day, the investigator received a report from USPIS detailing the previously intercepted parcels and noting that another parcel had been delivered to Bunting’s address in April.
Later that month, a Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics team, along with the Coast Guard Investigative Service and Kodiak Police Department, executed a search warrant at Bunting’s residence for suspicion of drug dealing.
The search unearthed 8.7 pounds of marijuana, 12.7 ounces of psilocybin mushrooms, 7.3 grams of cocaine (separated into individual baggies), 213 doses of LSD and 3 pounds of suspected edible marijuana products.
The search also unearthed three firearms –– two loaded handguns and a shotgun –– and $39,500 in cash, along with a money counter, digital scales, baggies and a calendar detailing the defendants profits.
Officers arrested Bunting, and he was charged later in the month. Officials calculated that Bunting made approximately $327,966 in drug proceeds over the course of his operations, a press release from the Alaska District Attorney’s Office said.
It also stated that several former Coast Guard members told officials Bunting was their source for drugs. Those members were later dismissed from the Coast Guard.
In his sentencing, Judge Burgess noted that Bunting was selling drugs for a profit, not to support his own drug habit, and that he came from a supportive family. He held a job as a substitute teacher, though he was terminated prior to his arrest.
The Coast Guard Investigative Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Kodiak Police Department and Alaska State Troopers conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case.
The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and U.S. Coast Guard Judge Advocate Lieutenant Sharyl Pels.