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UPDATE: Couple killed during an East Anchorage four-plex shooting


Two people have now died following a shooting at an East Anchorage four-plex early Tuesday morning, Anchorage police say.

The gunfire was first reported at 3:30 a.m. on the 6000 block of East 41st Court, said police spokeswoman Anita Shell. Christian Haynes, 27, died at the scene. 

A 23-year-old woman was also struck and died about 90 minutes later a local hospital, police say. Police have not yet publicly named the woman because her next of kin had not been notified as of Monday morning. 

According to Shell, police believe those responsible for the shooting fled the scene. Investigators have neither identified nor arrested any suspects in the case thus far, as detectives continue to speak with witnesses.

"We're still trying to identify what might have motivated this," Shell said. "There were additional people inside the apartment."

Haynes and the female victim were in a relationship, according to APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro.

The shooting occurred in an upstairs unit of the apartment complex.  A downstairs neighbor, who gave her name only as Gabby, told a Channel 2 crew that shots ripped through the ceiling of her home during the shooting, nearly striking her young son as he slept on a couch.

According to the neighbor, the apartment is part of a quiet neighborhood, but the occupants of the apartment where the shooting occurred were known for staying up late.

Noel Sutton, who has lived across the street from the four-plex for the past seven years, said Tuesday morning that the shooting awakened most people in the area.

"Almost 2, 3 o'clock in the morning, everybody over here is pretty much sleeping in this neighborhood," Sutton said. "So to all of a sudden hear a bunch of riled-off gun shots, it's gonna wake anybody up." APD describes the deaths as Anchorage's second and third homicides of 2015, following the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Charles Gustav Steinhilpert III during a Sunday drug deal outside a Walgreens drug store at Lake Otis Parkway and Tudor Road. Police detained a 14-year-old boy who allegedly shot Steinhilpert, and prosecutors say a decision is pending on whether he will be charged as an adult in the case.

The shooting is possibly gang-related and connected to another recent violent crime in Anchorage, according to Castro

Anyone with information on Tuesday's shooting is asked to call APD at 786-8900. Callers can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP, or contacting its website. Channel 2’s Marti Glaser and Missy Regier contributed information to this story. This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.

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North Pole responders say 1 person injured in shooting


Alaska State Troopers are investigating a Tuesday morning “incident” described as an injury shooting by local crews, with few additional details immediately available. Stephanie Woodard, a reporter with Fairbanks-based NBC affiliate KTVF, said Tuesday afternoon that North Pole medics had confirmed the shooting, with one victim injured on Old Horseshoe Way. “A person was sent to the hospital,” Woodard said. In an email to Channel 2, AST spokeswoman Megan Peters said Alaska Bureau of Investigation members were present, but couldn’t immediately provide specifics about what happened. “AST received a report of an incident at (11:22 a.m.) where one person was injured in North Pole and had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment,” Peters wrote. “Troopers and ABI are on scene investigating the cause and the circumstances surrounding the incident.” This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.

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Wisconsin sheriff: Friends were flying plane to Alaska when it crashed


Wisconsin authorities say two friends were flying a recently purchased airplane to Alaska when it crashed, killing the pilot's father. Clark County Sheriff Greg Herrick released the names of the three people involved in Monday's crash in central Wisconsin. The pilot, 27-year-old Mark Siegwart of Hammond, Indiana, and his friend, 41-year-old Nathan Smoot from North Pole, Alaska, were flying the plane to Alaska after leaving Hammond. Along the way they stopped and picked up Siegwart's father, 56-year-old Martin Siegwart of Boon, Michigan. The pilot said the single-engine Cessna 182 started to ice up and lose altitude. The plane was trying to make an emergency landing on a road when it crashed. Martin Siegwart died at the scene. His son remains in stable condition, and the other passenger has been released.

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Juneau considers $20M fix to sewage problem


Juneau is looking to spend about $20 million to fix its sewage problem. The Juneau Empire reports the city has been spending about $2 million a year since 2010 to ship its sewage biosolids, or the leftover waste from its treatment plants, to Oregon. Juneau began shipping the waste after the city's sewage sludge incinerator broke down beyond repair in 2010. Assembly members have considered a number of options, including buying a thermal dryer or composting. The latter was rejected because of the amount of flat land needed. Assembly members favor buying a dryer to extract the moisture from the sludge, which could be burned for fuel. The assembly voted to study the issue for another six months.

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Obama bars oil, gas leasing in parts of Beaufort, Chukchi seas


President Obama has designated parts of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas as off-limits to future oil and gas leasing, citing the need to protect them for subsistence use by Alaska Natives. In a Tuesday announcement on the White House’s website, Obama said the 9.8-million-acre designation under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act will protect areas used for bowhead whale subsistence hunts, as well as marine mammals and more than 40 species of fish which frequent the region. “The areas designated as off-limits by the President include Alaskan coastal buffer and subsistence areas that have previously been excluded from leasing plans under both Democratic and Republican Administrations -- as well as some critical additional areas like the biologically rich Hanna Shoal,” administration officials wrote.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also presented a draft plan for U.S. leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf for the years 2017 to 2022, featuring what a statement from the department called a "balanced approach to leasing (and) development." A draft of the program would see 14 lease sales ranging from Virginia to the Carolinas, Georgia and the Gulf of Mexico -- and three in Alaska -- during that time period.

“The safe and responsible development of our nation’s domestic energy resources is a key part of the President’s efforts to support American jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Jewell said in a statement on the plan. “This is a balanced proposal that would make available nearly 80 percent of the undiscovered technically recoverable resources, while protecting areas that are simply too special to develop.”

Obama's announcement is the latest in a series of executive-level moves to protect federal areas in Alaska from development. Alaska lawmakers blasted Obama’s plan, announced Sunday, to designate the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness; in December, Obama also placed federal areas of Bristol Bay off-limits to oil and gas drilling.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, took aim at the Obama administration's decision in a sharply worded statement from the committee Tuesday morning.

“This administration is determined to shut down oil and gas production in Alaska’s federal areas -- and this offshore plan is yet another example of their short-sighted thinking,” Murkowski said. “The president’s indefinite withdrawal of broad areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas is the same unilateral approach this administration is taking in placing restrictions on the vast energy resources in ANWR and the (National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska).”

Grace Jang, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bill Walker, said the governor would hold a press conference to take questions on Obama's Beaufort and Chukchi designations, among other topics, at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Juneau.

In private industry, the Alaska Oil and Gas Association's president and CEO, Kara Moriarty, summarized Tuesday's announcement by saying "The hits just keep coming."

“The proposed OCS program released today by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management promises more delay, more uncertainty, and more restrictions," Moriarty said in a statement. "It’s frustrating, because we know the Arctic is going to be developed, and no one does it better than the United States and Alaskans.” This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.

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Alaska state ferries to scuttle bars, keep beer and wine service


Passengers aboard Alaska Marine Highway System ferries won’t see half a dozen seaborne watering holes return this year, as state officials close the ferries’ bars in a cost-cutting measure. According to the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, all six ferries which now serve alcohol -- M/Vs Kennicott, Matanuska, Columbia, Tustumena, Malaspina and Taku -- will have their bars closed during spring refits before they enter service for the 2015 season. The announcement follows a request by Walker earlier this month for ideas on how to cut costs from state departments’ commissioners, amid low oil prices and falling state revenues. It is one of acting Transportation Commissioner Marc Luiken’s first moves, following Walker’s announcement of his appointment Friday. DOTPF spokesman Jeremy Woodrow said Tuesday that single-serving portions of beer and wine will remain available in the ferries’ cafeterias. While passengers will be able to buy multiple bottles, workers are set to undergo Training for Alcohol Professionals, which will help them legally serve alcohol and cut off inebriated patrons. “They’ll only be available during meal hours -- they won’t be available the whole time you’re aboard ship,” Woodrow said. “The employees who are manning the lines will have to be TAP-certified.” Woodrow cast the cause of the bars’ closure in purely fiscal terms, saying that very few cases of drunk passengers have emerged aboard the ferries. “This closure isn’t to limit people from being severely inebriated aboard the ships -- it’s sometimes an issue, but not a frequent issue,” Woodrow said. “This is a cost-cutting measure.” In previous years, Woodrow said Alaska could afford losses from the bars -- now estimated at $750,000 a year. He noted that “everything on the state ferries operates at a subsidy.” “They’ve been operating at a loss for several years,” Woodrow said. “We just don’t do the volume at a bar that you would see in a town, on the mainland.” Some of the fleet’s bars have become famous in their time, such as the Pitch and Roll aboard the Tustumena and a vintage space aboard the Columbia. “It’s got 1970s decor that’s never been refitted,” Woodrow said. “There are mirror balls on the ceiling, and red carpet on the walls.” According to Woodrow, the service areas of the bars will be closed, but passengers will still have access to their seating areas. “It’ll just be extra lounge space,” Woodrow said.

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Kalakala demolition crew saving souvenirs of iconic ferry


The crew scrapping the ferry Kalakala at a Tacoma dry dock is saving some pieces as souvenirs of the iconic Puget Sound vessel. Hundreds have called Rhine Demolition looking for a trinket. The News Tribune reports workers plan to save the rudder and distinctive rounded pilot house. They're also saving some port holes and railing that might end up in a museum. Dismantling began last week after the Kalakala rusted away for about a decade in Tacoma. The sleek, silver ferry was the symbol of Seattle in the days before the Space Needle. After it was taken out of service in the 1960s it was used as a cannery in Alaska. It was returned to Puget Sound with restoration plans but none came up with enough money.

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Fairbanks range launches rockets to study turbulence in northern lights


Four NASA soundings rockets were launched within a half hour into the northern lights in an effort to better understand and visualize turbulent air currents in the upper atmosphere. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the Poker Flat Research Range rockets appeared to have produced data in the early Monday morning launches near Fairbanks. The launches into the active aurora in minus 40 degree weather came after 13 straight nights of unsuitable weather for a launch. Two rockets were launched by a team led by University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute's Rich Collins to measure turbulence. The institute says in a release that the other two rockets, launched by Miguel Larsen of Clemson University and his team, released a visible vapor to help researchers visualize turbulence about 60 miles above the ground.

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No teacher cuts in 2015-16 ASD proposed budget


A year with no teaching jobs eliminated.

That was the proposal the Anchorage School Board heard from Superintendent Ed Graff Monday afternoon.

In Graff's proposed 2015-2016 budget, no classroom teacher positions would be eliminated. In fact, 24 teachers would be added. The budget also adds a charger school/alternative program director position, a human resources position and pays for curriculum software and upgrades, assessment reporting and computer and technology equipment replacements for school staff.

How is all this possible? ASD was heading into next year with a $20 million budget gap.

"Through thoughtful, strategic planning we were able to have the conversation today very different than what we were expecting," Graff told the school board Monday.

The district is operating 3 percent under its current budget. Back in November, the district announced it had a $22 million surplus due to mostly unfilled positions.

Graff's budget proposal would allocate $17 million in reserve funds for next year.

"Of course our goal is to maintain the highest quality teachers and the most effective teachers that we can," Graff said.

Getting rid of four central administration positions, one ancillary support position and reductions of funds for broadband will make up the other $3 million gap.

The school district is also projecting costs for natural gas and electric to go down due to warmer weather.

"It's good news that there is no more real bad news right now but we're not actually going back and making up ground from the last couple of years," said Andy Holleman, head of the Anchorage Education Association teachers union.

Holleman said he's glad to see no teacher layoffs but is concerned that programs previously eliminated under tight budgets will not be reinstated.

"We've cut a lot of programs that have worked really well for kids," said Holleman after the budget presentation on Monday. "There are a lot of counselors gone; there are a lot of people that work directly with kids that are just not there anymore."

"We designated our revenues to our top priority but we couldn't fund everything on our list," Graff said in front of the board.

The school board will hold two public hearings on the budget proposal. The first will be Feb. 2nd and the second on Feb. 19th, where a final vote is scheduled.

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Charges: Suspect says he shot man in groin 'because he was scared'


Anchorage police arrested a man who allegedly shot another man in the groin Wednesday afternoon on assault charges, saying the two had been involved in an argument beforehand.

Richard Van Horn was walking down East 16th Avenue Wednesday afternoon when Jesse Kern, a man he did not know, got out of an idling vehicle and said, "Do you got a problem with me," Van Horn reported to police.

The two exchanged words, with the incident escalating around 2 p.m. when Kern said, "I will just shoot you." Kern pulled out a gun, but Van Horn unsuccessfully attempted to knock the gun out of his hand.

Kern then shot Van Horn in the groin.

Van Horn was transported by medics to Providence Alaska Medical Center for treatment, and Kern also called 911 to report he had been injured.

Kern told police he had been followed all day but initially denied shooting anyone or possessing a gun. After being taken to APD's main station to be interviewed, Kern eventually admitted to police that he pulled the trigger "because he was scared," and he told officers where he hid the .38-caliber Taurus handgun.

32-year-old Kern was held in lieu of $55,000 bond on charges of first-degree assault, fourth-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Van Horn's injuries are not considered life-threatening, according to APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro.

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Bryce, the blind baby seal, finds a temporary home in Seward


A blind harbor seal is currently being cared for at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, officials said in a press release.

Bryce, the seal pup, was the last rescue of 2014 and was found at Land's End in Homer.

Officials and veterinary staff believe that he suffered a head trauma that resulted in his blindness.

"Because of his blindness, Bryce has been deemed non-releasable by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-National Marine Fisheries Service," officials wrote in a press release, Monday.

"While harbor seals are normally quite shy and skittish, staff have been pleasantly surprised by Bryce's spirit of adventure as he quickly explores pools, enrichment items, and other changes to his environment," Jenna Miller, a spokes person for Alaska SeaLife Center wrote in an email to Channel 2 News.

Officials say that staff utilize Bryce's inquisitive nature and heightened reliance on sound to teach him some basic husbandry skills like hand-feeding and targeting.

"Since he cannot see, staff rattle a 'shaker' in place of a target buoy. This allows Bryce to use audio cues rather than the customary visual cue," officials wrote.

Veterinary staff have noticed a slight improvement in his vision in one eye, officials say.

"His progress under human care is very encouraging, but we think Bryce's biggest accomplishment is the impressive ability to use his other senses and thrive in his environment," Miller wrote.

The Alaska SeaLife Center will be Bryce's home until a more permanent home can be found.

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Anchorage school bus struck in Muldoon collision


Police are responding to a three vehicle collision on near E 5th and Muldoon Road involving an Anchorage School district school bus, Monday afternoon.

"It is a non-injury crash," police spokesperson Jennifer Castro said.

"There are eight students on the bus," said Patti Layou of the communications department at Anchorage School District.

"What we know right now is that two vehicles collided, and then a pickup truck in the first collision slid into the school bus," Layou said.

Castro reports that roads are not closed at the time.

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Lower Kalskag man arrested after SUV hits ATV carrying 4 children


A Lower Kalskag man has been arrested on assault and DUI charges, after Alaska State Troopers say his SUV struck an all-terrain vehicle carrying four children last weekend. In a Monday AST dispatch, troopers say 47-year-old Billy Williams was “driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages” when his Ford Explorer hit the Honda Foreman ATV. Troopers in Aniak were informed of the collision at about 12:45 a.m. Sunday. “Two of the juveniles were injured and two were placed in fear of imminent serious physical injury,” troopers wrote. “Investigation further revealed that Williams' was driving while his driver's license was in revoked status.”

In an email to Channel 2, AST spokeswoman Megan Peters said the collision took place on Main Street in Lower Kalskag.

"While traveling along Main Street, the 4-wheeler began turning left into a driveway, at which time (Williams) attempted to pass the 4-wheeler on the left and struck it," Peters wrote. "The ages of the juveniles were 12, 15, 16, and 16."

Peters said the 16-year-olds -- both girls -- were treated and released after the crash, with one possibly requiring additional follow-up treatment.

The Foreman sustained more than $750 in damage during the crash.   Williams was arrested on four counts of third-degree assault, plus one count each of DUI, driving with a revoked license and third-degree criminal mischief. He was taken to an AST temporarily holding facility Aniak, pending transport to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel.

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Alaska Airlines employees in Alaska to receive $9M in 2014 bonuses


Nearly 1,800 Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees across Alaska will split about $9 million in annual bonuses for 2014 under the company’s incentive-based pay program, according to the airline. In a Monday statement, Alaska said most of the airline’s employees also earned a total of about $1,000 in monthly bonuses last year, for meeting goals linked to on-time flights and customer satisfaction. The monthly and annual bonuses for 2014 total almost $116 million, with the company paying a total of $624 million in incentive-based pay since 2003. “We're really excited to reward our employees for all the great work they've done this year,” Tammy Young, Alaska Airlines' vice president of human resources, said in the airline’s statement. “This is the sixth year in a row Alaska and Horizon employees have exceeded their payout targets for performance-based pay.” In other core regions of Alaska’s service area, 2,122 workers near Portland, Ore. are receiving about $12 million in annual bonuses, while the bulk of the bonus -- almost $51 million -- is being paid to almost 6,000 employees in the Puget Sound area. On a per-worker basis for the three regions, airline employees in Alaska will get an average of about $5,113 each, versus an average $5,655 each for Portland workers and an average $8,500 per person near Puget Sound. Airline spokeswoman Halley Knigge said the bonuses roughly equal five weeks of each employee’s annual pay. She said the average bonuses don’t reflect superior achievement of on-time goals in different regions, but rather employees with higher pay being concentrated at the airline’s headquarters. “They’re based on each employee’s individual salary, and we have our corporate offices in Seattle,” Knigge said. News of the bonuses came on the same day that Alaska received a fifth consecutive award from airline-tracking website FlightStats for being the nation’s most frequently on-time airline, with an 87.8 percent on-time rating beating competition including US Airways, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Delta Air Lines came in second with an 82.82 percent rating, and Virgin America rounded out the top three at 82.42 percent. For a flight to be rated on-time by FlightStats, it had to arrive within 15 minutes of its scheduled arrival time. In a separate statement, Alaska attributed the FlightStats rating to its on-time incentive program launched in 2009.

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AFD seeks public help to identify suspects in second arson fire in same building


Anchorage Fire Department is seeking public help to identify the people involved in the second arson fire at an abandoned apartment building on east 78th Avenue, AFD wrote in a press release, Monday.

According to AFD, fire crews responded to a structure fire at around 4.13 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 19, to 915 E 78th Avenue.

"First arriving crews reported smoke coming from the abandoned structure. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire," AFD wrote.

According to AFD investigator, Brian Balega, this was the second intentionally set fire at the same location in the last few months.

"On Oct. 27, we responded to a structure fire in the same building," Balega said. "At the time, we determined the building was vacant and the fire was intentionally set."

Balega told Channel 2 News that the fire on Jan. 19 was also intentionally set, but would not go into the details of how either fire was set.

"This fire was in the same building, with a different point of entry," Balega said.

If anyone has information about who is involved in these two fires, AFD asks that they report it to Crime Stoppers at 561-7867 or on the Crime Stoppers website.

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Federal judge sentences Anchorage man to 17.5 years for child porn


A 45-year-old Anchorage man was sentenced in federal court Friday to 17.5 years in prison, for two counts of child sexual exploitation for making sexually explicit videos in 2012.

Kevin Callander was arrested in November 2013 for abuse of minors and child pornography. A state judge sentenced Callander to 12 years in prison in November 2014, but Callander also faced charges in federal court this month.

The victimization of a 10-year-old child began on July 10, 2012 when Callender was on a family trip to Georgia and continued on July 17, 2012 in Florida.

"Callander produced videos on those days using his iPhone, and then emailed them in interstate commerce," U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler wrote in a press release, Monday.

A former U.S. Postal worker, Callender was sentenced Thursday by United States District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason to 17.5 years for each of the two convictions. According to prosecutors, these convictions would run concurrently with each other and with the 12-year state sentence.

"The lengthy sentence in this case reflects the victimization perpetrated on innocent victims by Callander," Loeffler said in the press release.

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Feds indict 4 in Anchorage meth-for-mail theft ring


Four Anchorage residents, including a ringleader allegedly known as “Superman,” are facing federal charges in a mail-theft ring which allegedly saw him trade methamphetamines for stolen mail. U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler’s office said in a Monday statement that 45-year-old Jonathan Ortiz Escalante has been charged in an 18-count indictment with offenses including conspiracy, mail theft, credit-card fraud, bank fraud, meth trafficking and being an armed felon. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin McCoy on Friday. In addition, three other people -- John Fred Brittain, 23, Neasha Martha Moore, 24, and Ralph Edward Oliver, 20 -- are charged with conspiracy in various counts of the indictment. Brittain is also charged with mail theft, while Moore is also charged with bank fraud and counterfeit security for allegedly cashing stolen checks and Oliver is charged with attempted bank fraud for trying to do so. None of the three is currently in custody. “The indictment charges that Escalante solicited Brittain and others to steal mail and identification cards that he then altered and used to cash stolen checks,” prosecutors wrote. “Escalante also used stolen credit cards and forged counterfeit securities, and distributed methamphetamine to Brittain and others in exchange for stolen mail. Escalante solicited Moore, Oliver, and others to cash the fraudulent checks.”      An indictment in the case says that Escalante received a stolen Sears credit card issued by Citibank to one of his victims on June 29, using it on the same day to make more than $2,000 in unauthorized purchases. Escalante and his contacts also allegedly stole IDs needed to cash checks, as well as the checks themselves. An unknown person’s June 9 theft of military identification from a vehicle allegedly bore fruit for Escalante one month later. “Escalante negotiated a counterfeit check from victim Chugach Electric at Fred Meyer’s in Soldotna in the amount of $1,875 using (the) stolen military identification,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment. An Aug. 28 mail theft also illustrated the extent to which the group modified stolen checks’ face value. “On or about September 11, 2014, Escalante altered the (Aug. 28 check) to indicate (Moore) as the payee and increased the amount from $75.13 to $1,700.13 and deposited the altered check to Moore’s account at Alaska USA (Federal Credit Union),” prosecutors wrote in the indictment. “Less than an hour after Escalante’s deposit into Moore’s account, Moore withdrew $1,700 cash from her account.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Stewart, who is prosecuting the case, said that while mail-fraud cases have been seen in Anchorage, drugs being traded for mail is an Outside trend becoming increasingly common on the Last Frontier. “I think it’s been pretty common in the Lower 48, and we’re seeing a lot more of it here involving drugs,” Stewart said. Stewart said that an increase in Alaska mail crimes has led to increased federal attention in an attempt to solve them. This month alone, those crimes include charges against two men in the burglary of the Sand Point post office, and a woman sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for stealing mail in Anchorage.   “Before, there was not a targeted effort to investigate these crimes by APD,” Stewart said. “But now there’s a postal inspector assigned to make cases against (mail crimes).” Escalante faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5 million if convicted, while Moore and Oliver each face maximum 30-year sentences and $1 million fines. Brittain faces a maximum five-year sentence and a $250,000 fine. According to Stewart, the large quantities of meth in Escalante’s possession -- sometimes more than 5 ounces at a time -- indicated that his meth-for-mail trade was experiencing significant success. “He was doing a fair bit of business,” Stewart said.

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Police: Boy, 14, accused of fatal shooting in Anchorage drug deal gone wrong


Anchorage police say an 18-year-old man, allegedly shot by a 14-year-old boy at a Midtown pharmacy Sunday evening, is Anchorage’s first homicide victim of 2015 in a case still under investigation. APD spokeswoman Anita Shell said in a statement Monday afternoon that police responded to the shooting at the Walgreens store, at Lake Otis and Tudor Road, just before 8:40 p.m. Sunday. Next of kin for the victim, Charles Gustav Steinhilpert III, have been notified. “According to witnesses, (Steinhilpert) and the suspect, a 14-year-old male, agreed to meet at the Walgreens to perform a drug transaction,” Shell wrote. “During the transaction, the suspect and the victim got into an altercation that ended when the suspect produced a gun and fired it once, striking the victim who was sitting in the vehicle.”

Police had said Sunday that they were still seeking a suspect in Steinhilpert's death at a local hospital, about 20 minutes after the shooting. It wasn't immediately clear when the teen in question was taken into custody.

"Detectives have detained a 14-year-old suspect in connection with the shooting," Shell wrote. "Because of his age, he will be referred to Division of Juvenile Justice for potential delinquency proceedings." Shell said there was no indication Monday that the shooting was gang-related. She declined to discuss the circumstances of the altercation that led to the shooting, but said detectives had already spoken with the victim’s friends. “His friends were witnesses -- they drove him to the hospital,” Shell said. Deputy District Attorney Clint Campion said state laws allowing prosecutors to try juveniles as adults are only applicable to suspects 16 years or older. “If the (suspect) is under 16, there is no authority for the prosecution to automatically do so,” Campion said. “We would have to take it before a judge.” According to Campion, a judge has yet to decide whether the suspect will be tried as an adult. If a decision is made to keep the case in juvenile court and prosecutors seek to have him tried as an adult, they would have to go before the judge and petition to do so in a hearing -- opposed by an attorney for the child. “That’s not something that’s going to happen today – I don’t expect it to happen this week,” Campion said. If a case remains in juvenile court, Campion said it will fall under Title 47 guidelines laid out in state statute, with the intent to “protect the community, impose accountability for violations of law, and equip juvenile offenders with the skills needed to live responsibly and productively.” APD is asking anyone else who witnessed the shooting to call police at 786-8900. This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.

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New Mexico man sentenced to 12 years in prison for 2012 drug trafficking


A 23 year-old man caught smuggling heroin and methamphetamine to Cordova was sentenced to 12 years in prison Friday, for attempted trafficking of those drugs in 2012 from New Mexico to Alaska.

According to a Friday statement from Deputy District Attorney Clint Campion, Alaska State Troopers stopped Enrique Lino on June 21, 2012 at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport as he awaited a flight to Cordova.

"Lino denied the allegations and ran away from the investigators when they tried to apprehend him," Campion wrote. "Lino was arrested after a struggle."

At the time, troopers said Lino had been carrying about 2 ounces of black tar heroin and another 1.5 ounces of meth.

The troopers made contact with Lino after they received a tip from Cordova police that someone from the southern states would be smuggling large amounts of drugs into Cordova, troopers wrote in a Monday AST dispatch.

According to troopers, Lino was found to be in possession of 25.6 grams of heroin and 66.9 grams of methamphetamine.

The drugs were "concealed in balloons, which he had secreted in himself," Campion wrote.

According to prosecutors, the drugs amounted to about 900 hits of heroin and methamphetamine.

Troopers valued the drugs at roughly $51,000 for the heroin and $44,000 for the methamphetamine, while Campion said the drugs "were worth more than $20,000 in Cordova."

"Lino was on felony probation in New Mexico for a cocaine conviction and had no permission to leave New Mexico when he committed these crimes," Campion wrote.

Lino was convicted of misconduct involving controlled substances in the second and third degrees, following a jury trial on Oct. 10.

He was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for his crimes.

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AST: Wasilla man abandons 'mobile meth lab,' tries to outrun trooper


Alaska State Troopers say a Wasilla man faced with a fight-or-flight decision allegedly tried both Sunday night, jumping out of a rolling “mobile methamphetamine lab” and leading a trooper on a rowdy chase. According to an AST dispatch released Monday, Jordan Melton was arrested after troopers attempted to make a Wasilla traffic stop on him at about 9:20 p.m. Sunday. He is charged with second-degree misconduct involving controlled substances, fourth-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest, and was also picked up on a warrant for several other controlled-substance charges. “Investigation revealed Melton had an outstanding $25,000 felony warrant for his arrest for the charges of MICS 2, MICS 3, five counts of MICS 4, and MICS 5,” troopers wrote. “Additionally, Melton was found to be in possession of a mobile methamphetamine lab and controlled substances.” AST spokeswoman Megan Peters said Monday that the white 1999 Subaru Legacy sedan Melton was driving also housed the alleged meth lab. “It was specific to that vehicle,” Peters said. In a criminal complaint against Melton on the assault charge, Trooper Neil Blakeslee said that the troopers who stopped Melton, Trooper Jared Noll saw Melton’s sedan make a right turn onto Helen Lane near Bogard Road without signaling. When Noll closed in to make a traffic stop, Melton allegedly accelerated around the corner “as if to elude him.” “(Melton) opened the driver door of the still-moving vehicle and attempted to flee on foot,” Blakeslee wrote. “The unoccupied vehicle continued rolling until it impacted a Dumpster on the side of the road.” Noll got out and chased down Melton, wrestling him to the ground outside a Helen Lane home after about 25 meters. “Trooper Noll told Melton to stop fighting and that he was under arrest,” Blakeslee wrote. “Melton continued to resist violently, swinging his fists, shoving Trooper Noll and hyperextending a finger on Trooper Noll’s left hand. Melton was able to twist away from Trooper Noll and continue running westbound.” After another 25-meter chase, Blakeslee said Noll and another witness were able to subdue and handcuff Melton, who was allegedly “attempting to use his body weight to throw Trooper Noll to the ground.” According to the AST dispatch, Noll was treated at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center for minor injuries. Melton was taken to the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility, where he was held without bail.

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