Ex-officer charged with bootlegging

Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A former Noorvik village police officer was arrested last week on bootlegging and assault charges.

Alaska State Troopers said Leon Outwater Sr. was accused of trying to sell homemade liquor to his 19-year-old nephew on Wednesday, then punching and biting him when he didn't have enough money to pay for the alcohol.

Outwater, 41, was a village police officer between April 2006 and December 2007.

His arrest comes days after a current VPO, Thomas Pungalik, was accused of choking a relative.

Outwater is among the first to be charged under the state's tougher new bootlegging rules, which can mean larger fines and mandatory jail time for bringing alcohol to communities that ban it.

Outwater was arraigned Thursday on charges of making and selling alcohol in a dry village, assault and giving liquor to a minor.

Amil Coffin told authorities he is Outwater's nephew and went to his uncle's house to buy home-brew. According to troopers, Coffin drank some of the alcohol and then Outwater told him he owed $70, but the nephew had only $60.

Troopers said Outwater grabbed the money and punched Coffin's head several times before biting him on the back. The two left the house and VPO Wallace Field found them arguing, according to authorities.

Sgt. Karl Main and another trooper flew from Kotzebue to Noorvik Wednesday and searched Outwater's house. The troopers found Outwater sleeping and two gallons of purple home-brew left over in a white bucket.

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