Police seize drugs valued at $62,000, make arrest
On Friday, Jan. 6, law enforcement officials seized $62,000 in drugs destined for sale and distribution in Petersburg.
According to a news release, Petersburg Police Department and Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs (SEACAD) drug task force seized 4 ounces of brown heroin and 2 ounces of methamphetamine.
On Tuesday, January 10, officials arrested Juan Carlos Murillo-Garcia, 37, on charges of Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the 4th Degree. According to police he is being held in the Petersburg jail on $50,000 bail and a Federal Detainer due to a warrant for Deportation issued by Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The seized heroin has an uncut street value of $36,000. The methamphetamine has an uncut street value of $18,000.
The drugs were delivered via the post office, according to Police Chief Jim Agner. An officer observed the defendant pick up a package at the post office and actually got the man to open the box for the officer to view. Agner would only say that the shipment arrived from Down South. He would not be more specific about the origin of the mailing.
Agner said police got a search warrant to seize the box and its contents, “based upon their prior knowledge of possible contents of the box along with things that were inconsistent with the packaging used in shipping legal items and things that were consistent with the shipment and packaging of illegal things.”
Agner told the Pilot, “This is not a couple of guys pooling their money to make a drug sale. They’re organized, sober and doing it as an organized business with the intention to make if difficult for authorities to prosecute.”
Timing of the arrest was due to the fact that police were aware the alleged suspect was getting ready to leave town on a fishing vessel.
Agner said this week’s action is only the beginning. “He is a fairly minor player, but the alleged delivery is a significant thing in town.
“People only buy one-tenth of a gram of heroin at a time. The heroin seized amounted to 1200 hits, and when stepped on would be 2,400 hits,” Agner explained.
“We’re seeing a huge increase in heroin use in town,” Agner added.
Agner likened the investigation to a game. “They know that we know. We exchange pleasantries on the street with dealers. They know exactly what we are required to do to catch them,” Agner said.
Agner wasn’t bashful in suggesting he was dealing with a professional organization. RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) charges could eventually apply to this case he noted. In addition to the Petersburg Police Department, SEACAP, DEA, FBI, Postal Inspector and the IRS are players in the ongoing investigation.