Accomplice in July killing pleads guilty to drug, weapon charges

An accomplice in the murder of Damian Sagerser last summer pleaded guilty last week to federal drug and weapons charges. 

Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason April 11 in Anchorage, Nancie Modeste, 27, admitted being guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and felon in possession of firearms.

Last February, Modeste pleaded guilty to attempted tampering with physical evidence related to the July 7, 2012, murder of Sagerser. Modeste’s boyfriend, Demarqus Green, 20, was charged with first-degree and second-degree murder in Sagerser’s death. No trial date has been set for him.

Alaska State Troopers allege that Green shot Sagerser while robbing him of marijuana and that Modeste and Green burned clothing and other evidence connected with the shooting.

Modeste negotiated a plea deal on an evidence tampering charge in which she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, attempted evidence tampering. She received a flat one-year jail sentence.

A federal prosecutor, special assistant U.S. Attorney Erin White Bradley, told the court that Modeste and her co-defendant, Ashley Hilton, possessed firearms in September 2012. Investigators with the statewide Drug Enforcement Unit arrested Modeste at her Anchorage home then. 

Both had prior felony convictions, Modeste for a 2005 evidence tampering charge and Hilton for second-degree robbery in 2005. Modeste admitted to possessing three semi-automatic pistols while Hilton admitted to possessing one of the pistols. Modeste also admitted to possessing 85 grams of crack cocaine.

Modeste will be sentenced July 1 and Hilton on May 17. Modeste faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and a potential maximum sentence of 40 years and a fine of $5 million. Hilton faces a maximum sentence of 10 years, a fine of $250,000, or both.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted in the investigation.