Two men have been arraigned in Kodiak District Court following a drug seizure over the weekend.
Kodiak Police Chief Ronda Wallace said the drugs were seized during a search of two hotel rooms on Sunday and have an estimated street value of at least $120,000. She said the investigation began when police officers noticed suspicious behavior by two individuals in the downtown area on Sunday.
“After making contact with them it was later discovered that one of them was a probation parole absconder from Anchorage. And that prompted them to make contact again with them. And during that contact it was discovered some drug paraphernalia,” Wallace said. “That prompted the officers to stop, apply for search warrants, which gave us access to two rooms because it was discovered during that little bit of investigatory time that there was two rooms with those two individuals. So they were able to execute search warrants on those rooms.”
The room searches yielded more than 76 grams of suspected black tar heroin, 28 grams of Afghan brown heroin, 10 grams of methamphetamine, 42 grams of crack cocaine, 6 grams of powder cocaine and what appeared to be the two men’s personal stash.Wallace said this is the first time the police department has seen Afghan brown heroin during a drug seizure in Kodiak.
She said Sunday’s arrest follows a recent trend of rising heroin use in Kodiak, and is one of the larger drug seizures the police department has encountered in terms of value.
“But this has been the largest seizure of all of this combined drugs with this amount of money valued to it. And it’s just; it’s disturbing the rise and the demand here in Kodiak that we’re seeing here in Kodiak for the drugs,” Wallace said. “It’s becoming a lot. Our last year’s cases nearly doubled what we had the year before in terms of our drug cases, our drug investigations that we worked. So we’re seeing a rise in the demand.”
There is only one drug enforcement officer in the Kodiak Police Department and Wallace said they worked more than 650 drug investigations this past year. She said the rise in drug-related investigations has prompted an internal shift this year to add one more person the city’s drug unit.
Wallace said a problem the department has noticed is that outside sellers have recognized the demand for drugs in Kodiak and are coming to the island with supplies. She said that fits with Sunday’s arrests, seeing as one of the individuals was on probation in Anchorage and the other was from Missouri.
The drugs found over the weekend follows a different drug seizure last week, where 7 ounces of methamphetamine was found, with an estimated street value of about $26,000.
“We’ve got to do something and put more eyes on the street, along with a canine and start making some kind of impact. We’ve had an impact but the more we’re seeing it’s just, it’s incredible the rise. Kodiak has a problem and the Kodiak police department and our officers, they’re vigilant, but we can only see so much,” Wallace said. “And people helping us by what they see and calling crime stoppers just aides us in our investigations. And there’s three ways people can do that, they can call in a tip, or they can text a tip or they can do a web tip for crime stoppers and we can use that information to again aide us in the investigations that we do.”
Wallace said the investigation from Sunday is ongoing.
Folks wanting to submit tips to crime stoppers can call the hotline at 486-3113 or text 4-8-6-TIP plus to your message to 274637.