The Juneau Police Department received a tip from law enforcement agencies in the Lower 48 this week and joined forces to arrest four Juneau residents and stop an estimated $150,000 worth of cocaine and ecstasy from reaching the capital city’s streets.
“It was like Groundhog Day,” JPD Lt. Kris Sell said. “The feds just kept calling with information. It was controlled chaos. There was a lot going on here and it was great. We are so pleased to take so much cocaine and keep it from getting on our streets.”
The investigation began when the federal agencies Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) intercepted three packages containing drugs.
ICE discovered two packages containing about two-thirds of a pound of cocaine each on entry into the United States at Cincinnati from Guadalajara, Mexico. DEA discovered a third package containing 3,000 ecstasy pills and three ounces of cocaine in Washington state destined for Alaska.
All three packages had delivery contacts in Juneau.
The JPD and Southeast Alaska Chiefs Against Drugs (SEACAD) worked with ICE and DEA on controlled deliveries of the packages to Juneau.
The two packages of cocaine were delivered Tuesday, under the supervision of law enforcement, to 21-year-old twin brothers Jose and Roberto Carranza, one at a downtown location and the other a location in Douglas. Each package had a street value of $37,500 for a combined value of $75,000, according to JPD.
The two men were arrested and taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center on charges of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree, a class ‘B’ felony. The Carranzas were arraigned in Juneau District Court Wednesday and bail was set at $25,000 cash. Additional charges are pending.
Details of their arrest were not released until the third package of 3,000 ecstasy pills and three ounces of cocaine was delivered on Wednesday to a downtown location. That delivery resulted in the arrests of Kenneth Hausinger, 44, and Darren Wigg, 33. The street value of that cocaine was $1,500 and the ecstasy, also known as MDMA, was valued at more than $75,000.
Hausinger and Wigg made initial appearances in United States District Court on Thursday in the Juneau Federal Building. Hausinger has retained the services of a private attorney from Anchorage. Wigg will be represented by the Public Defender Agency. Preliminary hearings were set for July 25 but it is expected the two will be indicted before that date.
The two are being held at LCCC on federal charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute ecstasy and cocaine, class ‘C’ felonies.
“We’ve been busy,” Assistant United States District Attorney Jack Schmidt said. “I wish people would just stop dealing drugs.”
Schmidt stated that the federal cases usually take quantities of 500 grams or more of cocaine or larger amounts of other drugs. The volume of the ecstasy bust was significant to pursue in federal court while the charges against the Carranza twins were better suited for state court.
“For us it really has to come down to whether we can get a better sentence than the state can,” Schmidt said.
• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.