Anchorage man arrested at US-Canada border refuses to leave Fairbanks jail

An Anchorage man who was arrested last weekend for refusing to leave a checkpoint on the Alaska side of the U.S.-Canada border remains at the Fairbanks Correctional Center.
Authorities say 61-year-old Terry Sharkey is now refusing to leave the jail.

It’s a twist to a story that began Saturday morning when Sharkey entered Yukon Territory at the Beaver Creek U.S.-Canada border crossing on the Alaska Highway about 300 miles south of Fairbanks.

A canada flag next to a us flag
KUAC file photo

Sharkey was turned back because of Canada’s COVID-related travel restrictions, but reportedly refused to leave the checkpoint. According to a Canadian Border Services Agency spokesperson, he was arrested by Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

An RCMP spokesperson said Sharkey wasn’t charged with any offense but was brought back across the border with his vehicle to the U.S. checkpoint at Port Alcan.

Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Austin McDaniel said soon thereafter, troopers got a call from Customs officers at the port of entry asking for help with a “hostile subject.”

“Fairbanks dispatch was contacted by the United States Customs and Border Protection at the Alcan port of entry, asking for Trooper assistance removing somebody who did not want to leave their premises,” McDaniel said.

A Trooper report said Sharkey refused to identify himself to Customs officers and refused orders to leave the facility.

“Once Troopers responded, they again asked Mr. Sharkey to leave. He refused, so he was arrested for trespassing,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel said Sharkey was taken to the Tok Trooper post, then transported to Fairbanks Correctional Center and jailed on a charge of second-degree trespassing. Under normal circumstances, a person charged with a similarly minor offense likely would be released the next day.

But a Fairbanks Correctional Center booking office staffer said Thursday that Sharkey is still behind bars, because he’s refused to sign paperwork that would allow him to leave the jail. The staffer said he’ll continue to be held unless he signs the documents or is ordered released by a judge.

Attempts to contact Sharkey have been unsuccessful. Officials on either side of the border have not provided information on why he’s refusing to cooperate with authorities.

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Tim Ellis is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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