Federal grand jury indicts 3 defendants for Trapper Creek murders


Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) – A federal grand jury in Alaska returned an indictment last week charging three defendants with crimes connected to the murders of two women in Trapper Creek this May.

According to the indictment, Heraclio Sanchez-Rodriguez, 56, Tamara Denise Bren, 41, and Kevin Glenn Peterson II, 29, engaged in a drug conspiracy and conspired to kidnap and murder Sunday Powers and Kami Clark in furtherance of a drug trafficking enterprise on May 22.

The drug conspiracy resulted in the distribution of over 33 kilograms of fentanyl, 11 kilograms of meth, four kilograms of heroin, and 57 grams of cocaine.

The indictment further explains that Sanchez-Rodriguez was an inmate in a California prison and used contraband phones to run his enterprise.

The indictment alleges the defendants communicated in person and through phone calls and text messages to coordinate the kidnapping of Powers and Clark.

They used tracking applications on cell phones to confirm the location of Powers and Clark on the day of the murders.

They further organized multiple vehicles to meet the co-conspirators near Trapper Creek and have a conspirator carry a firearm to carry out the kidnapping.

According to the indictment, conspirators restrained Powers and Clark under the threat of force by carjacking the vehicle they occupied.

During the kidnapping and carjacking, Powers called 911 but a conspirator ended her call.

Powers and Clark were driven to a hidden location, where they were executed and buried in a shallow grave near Trapper Creek.

The indictment charges all three defendants with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, killing in furtherance of continuing criminal enterprise, kidnapping conspiracy, kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking resulting in death, and use of a firearm to commit murder in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

Bren and Sanchez-Rodriguez are also charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.

If convicted of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, Bren and Sanchez-Rodriguez face a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for the remaining charges is life imprisonment.

U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska, Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office, and Alaska State Trooper Colonel Maurice Hughes made the announcement.

The indictment is the result of an investigation by the FBI Anchorage Field Office, Drug Enforcement Administration Seattle Division, IRS Criminal Investigation Seattle Field Office, U.S Postal Inspection Service Seattle Division, Alaska State Troopers, Anchorage Police Department, and Palmer Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen Vandergaw and Christopher Schroeder are prosecuting the case.

The Alaska State Troopers released the following statement following the federal indictment.

“The Alaska State Troopers would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Anchorage Police Department for their assistance with our investigation into the tragic deaths of Sunday Powers and Kami Clark in late May 2023. We especially appreciate the patience of the Alaskans who have been asking us about our investigation, and due to the nature of the federal investigation, the Alaska State Troopers have been unable to provide detailed information before today. Both Alaskans involved in the murders have been in Alaska Department of Corrections custody since June 2023 on separate charges, and there has been no ongoing public safety threat to any Alaskans since these arrests were made. Due to the drug trafficking enterprise in which all three defendants were involved, we referred this investigation to the US Attorney’s Office for prosecution instead of the Alaska Department of Law to ensure that these defendants are held accountable for their actions. The Alaska State Troopers will continue to work tirelessly with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to dismantle drug trafficking organizations that target Alaskans.”

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.