Local News

Ketchikan police: Fourth drug bust on Sunday

A fourth drug-related arrest on Sunday followed three earlier last week by the Ketchikan Police Department.

The most recent arrest netted 2.5 ounces of heroin, worth about $84,000, along with $3,000 in cash. In that case, 19-year-old Kelli Lecornu and 27-year-old Curtis Demmert were arrested after they arrived on the state ferry Columbia.

Ketchikan Police Department Lt. Joseph White said police heard about the couple last Thursday.

“We actually got a Crimestoppers tip about these two coming back from Washington on the Alaska Marine Highway System,” he said.

White said the amount of heroin seized Sunday was significant, particularly because of the potential profit margin for that drug.

“We’re seeing them selling it two ways here in town,” he said. “They either gram it out or they do tenths of grams. The smaller you cut it, the more profit you make off of it. So that’s kind of the newest thing we’re seeing is they’re selling it by these very small amounts for a very large price, so the profit goes extraordinarily high for the investment you make Down South.”

Lecornu and Demmert each were charged with one count of second-degree controlled-substance misconduct for possession with intent to distribute. They were arraigned Monday in Ketchikan District Court. The next hearing for each is scheduled for 1 p.m. October 17th.

Last week’s series of drug arrests started with a 3 p.m. October 1st search warrant served at Danerin Curtindale’s home at 910 Park Avenue.

Police say they found about an ounce of marijuana in the home, and about three grams of methamphetamine, along with drug paraphernalia.

The 30-year-old Curtindale was charged with third-degree controlled-substance misconduct for the methamphetamine, and fifth-degree controlled-substance misconduct for the marijuana. Both charges assume intent to distribute.

Two days later, at around noon on October 3rd, Ketchikan police served a search warrant on a North Tongass residence where 34-year-old Khuong Tran was living.

Tran had been identified as a Washington resident who was bringing heroin in from Seattle. Police seized about 40.4 grams of heroin, $3,200 cash, and paraphernalia during that search. The estimated street value of the heroin is $33,000.

Tran was charged with two counts of second-degree controlled-substance misconduct for possession with intent to distribute, and for the alleged delivery of heroin to Don “Aaron” Wright, who also was arrested October 3rd.

Following a search at Wright’s 119 Austin Street home, police say they seized about 23 grams of heroin, valued at about $20,000, including a bulk quantity and multiple smaller quantities packaged for sale. About $4,500 in cash also was seized.

The 42-year-old Wright was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree controlled-substance misconduct for possession of Heroin with intent to distribute.

Lt. White said the use of heroin has increased in Ketchikan.

“It’s harder to get the pills, some of the pills that users were smoking in the past, and they’ve changed the recipes in how they make the pills,” he said. “And so, to get that same type of high, heroin fits that need. And so heroin is making a resurgence because the pills are becoming harder to come by and harder to use.”

White said the police station’s four drug arrests in one week is just a coincidence, stemming from good information and tips occurring at around the same time.

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