State troopers seize booze, drugs bound for Bush communities

Posted: Tuesday, October 07, 2003

ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers seized dozens of bottles of alcohol and thousands of grams of marijuana in September that were bound for western Alaska.

Troopers with the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport seized 95 750-milliliter bottles and one 375-milliliter bottle of alcohol, troopers said Friday. They also seized 2,371 grams, about 5.2 pounds, of marijuana.

The totals were based on 14 contacts made at the airport, troopers said.

"We're very pleased with the success of our team at the airport," said Capt. Ed Harrington. "What's disconcerting is that we're only able to seize a small portion of the alcohol and dope that's headed for the villages."

Troopers estimate that they seize about 10 percent of the alcohol headed for local option communities.

"We can't be everywhere at once, which is why we rely so much on tips from the local communities," Harrington said.

In addition to the busts at the Anchorage airport, Harrington said, troopers are cracking down on illegal drugs and alcohol flowing out of the major western Alaska hubs.

"Our teams in Bethel, Nome and Kotzebue follow up every lead in trying to stop even the smallest quantity of alcohol from reaching the dry villages," he said.

Troopers pay $50 to $600 for information that leads to the confiscation of drugs or alcohol.

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