Portland coke dealer sentenced in federal court

Andrew James Kaptur faces 2 years in prison

A gavel is shown in a U.S. courtroom (AP)
A gavel is shown in a U.S. courtroom (AP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Federal prosecutors say a North Portland man made more than $300,000 in five years by selling 20 kilograms of cocaine.

Andrew James Kaptur will be sentenced on Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

In September 2016, he plead guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is recommending that Kaptur be sentenced to 2 years in federal prison.

“[Kaptur] made significant strides in his post-offense rehabilitation…[his] efforts are substantial and sincere.” — US Attorney’s Office

The money laundering investigation began in 2014 when the IRS starting looking into why Kaptur had more than $300,000 in unexplained cash deposits into his personal bank accounts. Many of the deposits were structured to avoid currency transaction report guidelines.

IRS agents spoke with Kaptur in May 2014 and started asking questions about his deposits. He told them that he worked odd jobs for cash but never really gave agents specific details about his work.

Then in April 2016, the DEA interviewed a known cocaine trafficking suspect as part of an unrelated investigation. That person identified as Kaptur as being an “important cocaine customer who had purchased kilogram quantities of cocaine from the drug trafficking organization (DTO) on a monthly basis,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The witness in the drug case told DEA agents that Kaptur paid $35,400 per kilogram on a monthly basis. A second witness within the DTO was identified and that person also confirmed that Kaptur was a kilo-level cocaine customer of the organization.

A search warrant was executed at Kaptur’s residence in July 2015 and agents found a gun and just over $11,000 in cash, but no cocaine. At that point, Kaptur told agents that he had likely sold 20 kilograms of cocaine over a 5-year period and that he had earned about $300,000, according to court documents.

Kaptur was able to pay off a large part of his home’s mortgage using the drug money, records show. The feds aren’t going after his home. Instead, they will allow him to refinance his house and apply the proceeds of the loan to his monetary obligations stemming from the criminal investigations.

Records show that Kaptur has already paid the back taxes he owed and that he has given up more than $67,000 in cash.

In court records, the U.S. Attorney’s Office writes, “[Kaptur] made significant strides in his post-offense rehabilitation…[his] efforts are substantial and sincere.”