Two Brothers Sentenced for Drug, Tax Fraud

Two brothers from the Dominican Republic have been sentenced for a drug and tax fraud conspiracy that authorities say could have exceeded $25 million.

The U.S. attorney’s office says Joel Santana-Pierna was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Anchorage to nearly 12 years and Abel Santana-Pierna got 72 months.

The men were also ordered to pay more than $550,000 restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and forfeited $130,000 obtained in their drug trafficking scheme.

They were charged with distributing cocaine in the Anchorage area. Prosecutors say they also conspired to use about 3,000 stolen Puerto Rican identities to file false income tax returns with the IRS.

Ten others were charged. Four have been sentenced; others await sentencing except one who is still a fugitive.

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