After his 2019 arrest, Elliott Neese reportedly told the police he was involved in a large narcotics trafficking operation on the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula. In the run-up to his 2022 trial, Neese (above, right) repeatedly failed drug tests for heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other substances, despite claiming he was clean. By June 2, 2022, he was declared a flight risk and taken back into custody.
Prosecutors recommended Neese be sentenced to five years and 10 months. Despite him reportedly being a small player in the criminal network, they noted the severity of drug use in the area — suggesting his crimes were nothing to scoff at. Meanwhile, the defense sought the minimum of five years, a fine, and probation, arguing that Neese’s plea deal, age, and the fact this was his first felony justified the decision. His parents also petitioned the court for leniency in their son’s sentencing.