North Slope police crack down on drug traffic
April saw a string of drug and alcohol importation busts in the far north, as North Slope police continue to battle drug and alcohol trafficking on and into the North Slope.
The largest seizure took place on April 11, when law enforcement and postal inspection employees intercepted a package containing four pounds of marijuana. The street value of the drug, destined for Barrow, was a whopping $120,000. The shipper and receiver will likely face felony charges that carry up to five years in prison, and up to $50,000 in fines.
The North Slope Borough Police Department encourages all North Slope residents to participate in their healthy communities campaign by reporting the use of illegal drugs, or unlawful use of alcohol.
"With this effort, together we can stop the illegal sale of alcohol and drugs," reads a recent North Slope police release. "Anyone having information on the illegal sale of alcohol or drugs is encouraged to call the North Slope Borough Police Hotline at (907) 852-0314, or (800) 478-3784."
That campaign is coupled with an ongoing investigation aimed at identifying and intercepting trafficking sources.
Most recently, an April 18 seizure intercepted five bottles of alcohol being shipped to Emil Milone in Barrow - a "damp" community.
While five bottles of alcohol may cost around $100 in a hub like Anchorage, its street value is estimated at nearly $900. The crime of unlawful importation is punishable by up to one year in jail, and $10,000 in fines. In that case, Milone was both the shipper and receiver.
Just the day before, on April 17, three different package seizures intercepted more than $25,000 worth of drugs and alcohol headed for North Slope communities.
A package headed for Jensen Tukrook in Point Lay was found to contain 121.5 grams of marijuana - packaged for sale. The estimated street value of the find is more than $18,000. Jensen, and sender Clifford Nukapigak, Jr., face felony drug charges.
Barrow resident Stella Okpeaha was stopped at the Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. Law officers seized 14 bottles of alcohol from her possession.
A package headed from Anchorage to Wainwright was found to contain 56.5 grams - or $4,708 - of marijuana and eight bottles of alcohol. Jerry Panik, II, and Myra Panik face importation and controlled substance misconduct charges.
These varied seizures and interceptions are all a part of the North Slope Borough Police Department's continued campaign to prevent drug and alcohol-related crime on the North Slope.