Teens plead not guilty to selling OxyContin

Police describe pair as 'low level, street level dealers'

Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Two teens charged with distributing OxyContin in Juneau pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday.

Alexander Claassen, 19, pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of possessing OxyContin with intent to distribute, each punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The offenses are alleged to have occurred on May 8, 13 and 19.

Hannah Massey, 18, pleaded not guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting misconduct involving controlled substance in the second degree for allegedly helping Claassen sell OxyContin on May 13. The felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Claassen is being held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center with a $5,000 bail. Massey has been released on $2,500 bail.

Juneau Police Department spokesman Sgt. Dave Campbell described the teenagers as "low level, street level dealers."

A grand jury indicted Claassen and Massey on Friday. The quantity of drugs involved were not disclosed and were unavailable in court records as of Tuesday.

"We're talking about relatively small quantities," Campbell said.

It is common for defendants to enter a not guilty plea at the beginning of the court proceedings in these cases so the defendant can retain a lawyer and find out the evidence the state plans to use in the case, Campbell said.

"The fact that they pled not guilty isn't a surprise," he said.

A tentative trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 9 if no plea deal is struck.

Claassen was convicted of felony forgery and misdemeanor theft in 2008, according to court records.

Massey, a 2009 graduate of Juneau-Douglas High School and a standout softball player for the Crimson Bears, was cited for underage drinking on May 21 in an unrelated case.

According to police sources, the price for OxyContin, a time-release opiate-based pain medication, has been relatively steady in Juneau recently at around $160 for an 80-milligram pill, Campbell said.

• Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or eric.morrison@juneauempire.com.

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