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Courts Roundup: heroin, hydrocodone, food stamp fraud

Posted: March 5, 2014 - 1:01am

Drug mule pleads guilty to possessing heroin

A Juneau man accused of attempting to traffic heroin into the capital city through the Juneau International Airport has pleaded guilty to a felony.

Kenneth W. Kitka, 56, admitted fourth-degree drug misconduct Thursday in Juneau Superior Court. He could be facing three to five years in prison and will be sentenced in May.

Prosecutors said a Juneau police detective and FBI agent stopped Kitka at the airport on July 18 on suspicion of carrying drugs internally. An X-ray revealed two “ping-pong ball size packages” of heroin, weighing a total of seven grams, inside his body, District Attorney James Scott said. Police had obtained a search warrant that authorized the X-ray at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

During Thursday’s change of plea hearing, Kitka also admitted four sentencing aggravators that could increase his sentence. The aggravators relate to repeated instances of past assaultive behavior, repeated instances of past similar offenses, three or more prior felonies and five or more misdemeanors. 

Woman admits dealing hydrocodone

A 38-year-old Juneau woman has admitted a felony drug offense for selling hydrocodone to a confidential police informant.

Jenny V. Sharclane pleaded guilty to attempted drug misconduct in the third degree last Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court.

Prosecutors said Sharclane sold the informant tablets of hydrocodone on three occasions in February and March last year. Hydrocodone is a pain reliever and a controlled substance because it is an opiate derivative.

A plea deal in place calls for six months to serve. She is scheduled to be sentenced April 2.

Woman pleads guilty to food stamp fraud

A former Juneau resident accused of receiving about $12,300 worth of food stamps she was not eligible for has pleaded guilty to felony theft.

Jazmine Wheaton, 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft in Juneau Superior Court last Monday, and she is scheduled to be sentenced in Palmer at a later date.

A plea deal in place calls for Wheaton to pay back the money she stole and bars her from receiving food stamps for the next two years. The deal also calls for some jail time — three months to serve.

Prosecutors said Wheaton was eligible to receive about $500 worth of food stamps from April 2008 to September 2009, but she instead was overpaid about $11,600 because she concealed the fact that her husband was working and earning an income. A case worker with the Department of Health and Social Services worker noticed the discrepancies during a routine paperwork check.

 

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

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