Mass. man indicted for importing heroin to Juneau

A Juneau grand jury on Friday indicted a Massachusetts man caught importing about 100 grams of heroin into the capital city.

The man, identified as 30-year-old Justin Elliot Yuhaz, was arrested at the Juneau International Airport earlier this week after a police investigation revealed he was carrying the drugs.

The Juneau Police Department said they acted on a verified tip concerning illegal drug trafficking between Las Vegas and Juneau and apprehended Yuhaz at the airport at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday. He was flying on an Alaska Airlines flight, police said.

According to an affidavit filed by prosecutors, JPD obtained a search warrant that authorized an X-ray, which confirmed Yuhaz was carrying the drugs internally. The police ended up seizing what they believed to be 103.4 grams of heroin, which they estimate has a street value of $103,500, according to a press release from JPD LT. David Campbell.

The grand jury indicted Yuhaz on one count of second-degree drug misconduct for possession with intent to deliver. That’s a class ‘A’ felony that can carry up to 20 years in jail.

Yuhaz is being held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on $50,000 bail, court documents show.

During his first court appearance Thursday, Yuhaz said his mailing address was in Rowley, Mass., which is about seven miles from Newburyport, Mass., and about 30 miles northeast of Boston.

Yuhaz told the judge he couldn’t afford an attorney, and the Public Defender Agency was appointed to represent him.

Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Polasky said Yuhaz does not have any criminal history in the state of Alaska, so far as he knows. He said he did not know whether Yuhaz had prior convictions out of state.

The police originally identified the man with a different spelling of his last name, “Yuhasz.” It’s listed in the indictment as “Yuhaz.” It could not be confirmed which spelling is correct.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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