Drug bust on fishing boat leads to more charges

KETCHIKAN — Ketchikan police have charged another suspect in relation to a November drug bust on board a fishing boat in Bar Harbor.


Shawn D. Petersen, 30, has been charged with third-degree controlled-substance misconduct, after police allegedly found two bags of methamphetamine — totaling just under a gram — near where Petersen allegedly was sitting on Nov. 20, when police made contact with him on board the fishing vessel Prince.

According to the affidavit provided by Ketchikan Police Sgt. Andy Berntson, Petersen was seen “quickly diving” out of sight after police arrived and identified themselves. After conducting a warrant search, police allegedly found the two baggies of meth “immediately adjacent to where (Petersen) was sitting, hidden underneath a box.”

Petersen allegedly told police that he had received the drugs from the boat’s brief tenant Kim M. Johnston, 45, who was charged on Nov. 21 of last year and who has since pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

In a Wednesday telephone interview, Berntson said the delay in charging Petersen had to do with Petersen’s frequent travel to and from Prince of Wales Island.

“I wanted to give him the chance to talk about it,” Berntson said, adding that it also took time for the Alaska State Crime Lab to positively identify the drugs.

A warrant for Petersen’s arrest was issued on Tuesday and he was taken into custody on a $10,000 warrant. Petersen was arraigned in Ketchikan District Court on Wednesday, where Judge Kevin Miller assigned a public defender to represent Petersen. Miller also reduced Petersen’s bail to $3,000.

Petersen remained in custody as of Wednesday afternoon.


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