Defendants plead not guilty in federal drugs, weapons cases

Meth, cash seized from Petersburg man

A Petersburg man was arraigned in federal court Thursday on drug charges after law enforcement reportedly seized more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and nearly $5,000 in cash from his residence.

 

Randal Kevin Long, 53, appeared in U.S. District Court in Juneau and pleaded not guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute; he also denied a criminal forfeiture allegation relating to the cash that was seized.

According to the Petersburg Pilot, Long was arrested on April 26 by the Petersburg Police Department after search warrants were executed and 1,500 doses of meth were seized from two locations, with a reported street value of $28,000. Officials also seized $4,700 in cash and drug paraphernalia including scales, syringes and a pipe.

In court Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt noted that Long has at a “fairly lengthy” criminal history with at least one prior eligible drug conviction and possibly more, which could increase his maximum penalty of 10 years to life.

No trial date has yet been set.

Also on Tuesday, a man already serving a sentence in state prison was arraigned on federal weapons charges.

James Vincent Drury, 48, pleaded not guilty to the theft of two rifles and being a felon in possession of firearms, with prior convictions for first-degree burglary in 2009 and first-degree attempted burglary in 2006.

His most recent felony convictions were in 2015 and 2016, both with plea agreements on second-degree burglary charges.

He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years on each count. A trial date has not been set.

Consignment store burglary suspect seeking drug treatment

A suspect nabbed after he allegedly broke into a consignment store and stole cash and consigned items is considering his drug treatment options.

Jared Paul Fortin, 32, has pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree burglary, for which he could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, in connection with the late-night break-in on June 14. He has also been charged with misdemeanor third-degree theft and fourth-degree criminal mischief.

During a hearing in Juneau Superior Court Thursday, Fortin’s rehabilitation options were discussed, including an inpatient treatment program versus local therapeutic court.

Fortin told Judge Philip Pallenberg he was at the point of wanting sobriety and admitted to having had problems in the past admitting his addiction. He will return to court to settle the issue on July 10, and remains in custody on $5,000 bail.

Fortin was arrested after the Juneau Police Department responded to a burglary call at approximately 11:22 p.m. June 14 from Alaskan Dames Consignment Shop, located at 1900 Crest St. The burglary was captured on a video surveillance system and the responding officer reportedly recognized the suspect as Fortin, who was located less than an hour later, allegedly with the property.


• Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or liz.kellar@juneauempire.com.


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