A California man is in custody on felony drug charges after Ketchikan police say he arranged a shipment of upwards of a quarter-pound of heroin and 50 opioid pills.
Ketchikan Police Department Lieutenant Andy Berntson says federal postal inspectors intercepted the shipment on its way to Ketchikan. When the package made it to its destination, with police watching, Berntson says three people showed up to claim it.
“They were contacted and admitted to different roles in the operation,” Berntson said in a phone interview.
Berntson said one of them was 40-year-old Kevin Brian Szal. He was arrested Friday and charged with two felony counts of attempted drug possession with the intent to distribute.
The other two individuals have not yet been charged, Berntson said. But…
“It’s still under investigation,” Berntson said. “As far as different roles and whether evidence is out there, we’ll analyze that and get to a point down the road where there most likely will be more charges.”
Berntson says that the 122-gram bust is significant, since individual doses are generally in the tenths of a gram. And the pills are a somewhat unusual find.
“Oxycodone used to be a really big deal in Ketchikan, you know, years ago, especially when Oxycontin pills were kind of all the rage,” he said. “We don’t see oxycodone pills as much anymore, but they’re still certainly a very strong opiate and something that’s very abused in Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska.”
Ketchikan police say state troopers also assisted in the investigation.
An attorney for Szal did not immediately return a request for comment.