Federal Drug Trial

    Juneau, AK (KINY)-Tuesday was the last day of testimony in the federal drug trafficking case involving defendant Zerisenay Gebregiorgis.

    Gebregiorgis is accused of conspiring with one or more people to possess drugs with the intent to distribute.  A woman who now lives in Juneau but is from Seattle testified Tuesday that she did hide packages in her pants and transport those packages to Ketchikan and to Sitka during the summer of 2016.  Shammar Ferguson says she did so at the direction of the defendant, who she knows as "Sam."  Ferguson testified that she did not know the package she was transporting held drugs but that she was paid about $500 for taking the package to Ketchikan.  Ferguson said when she took a package to Sitka she was not given money but that the people accepting the package from her went with it to a bedroom.  Later those same people gave her heroin that she used but one of them also called the Sitka police.  Ferguson has now served 23 months for her involvement and has immunity from federal prosecution in Alaska based on cooperating by providing testimony.    

    After Ferguson's testimony Juneau-based FBI Special Agent Matt Judy wrapped up the government's case with long lists of airline tickets, names, bankcard numbers, and car rental receipts he associated with Gebregiorgis and others.  

    Assistant US Attorney Jack Schmidt rested his case, followed moments later by the defense attorney who called no witnesses.  The defendant did not take the stand.  Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning at 8:30 with one hour slated for the prosecution and one hour for the defense.  The case is expected to be with the jury by lunch.



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