Supplier for meth lab sentenced

Posted: Sunday, March 11, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A man convicted of supplying a chemical for a North Pole methamphetamine lab has received a seven-year prison sentence.

Ralph Steven Firestone, 42, will serve the time in California, where his sentence will run concurrent to one he is currently serving for a 1998 felony drug conviction there.

In addition to the seven years handed down Friday in U.S. District Court, Firestone was sentenced to three years on supervised release for the North Pole crime.

Crist Bigler, the man who allegedly ran the lab, faces the brunt of the charges in the case.

Firestone was only charged as a supplier of the chemical toluene. Defense attorney Richard Wright argued for a shorter sentence for Firestone based on that secondary role in the lab, which was raided in June 1998.

Firestone was one of four people indicted in connection with the operation, which investigators believe began in Washington state before moving to various locations around Fairbanks. Bigler, Lori Hysong, and Victoria Tune also were charged with federal drug offenses.

Hysong and Tune each pleaded guilty to one reduced count of money laundering in plea bargains.

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