Ketchikan police arrested a local man on felony drug charges on Monday. The man allegedly had close to a half million dollars — $488,000 — worth of illegal drugs in his possession, including heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl pills.
Ketchikan Police Department officers arrested 40-year-old Larry Paul Marsden on Monday, after he picked up a package they were tracking containing suspected meth and heroin.
According to police, the drugs equaled about a pound each.
Lieutenant Andy Berntson said the package was tracked via a device left inside.
“When these, you know, when we have the ability to, to identify a shipment, you know, we would obviously once we have that identifier, we remove the contents of that so that way, you know, we’re not sending, you know, bulk drugs out in the community,” Berntson told KRBD.
A probable cause statement written by detective Jack Ford says that a sample of the drugs were left in the package, along with the tracker. The rest of the drugs were taken out.
The box was addressed to Marsden’s girlfriend, who was unnamed in the court statements. But Marsden took possession of the package upon delivery.
The meth and heroin have an estimated street value in Ketchikan of about $380,000, according to the statement. But that’s not including the about 1,200 fentanyl pills found on Marsden’s person when he was arrested. Including the fentanyl, the street value goes up to $488,000.
Jack Ford, a detective with the department, said that a single fentanyl pill sells for between $60 and $80 locally. And one pill is way more than the amount needed to cause a deadly overdose.
“These are extremely potent,” Ford explained. “And then when you compare them to fentanyl that’s being used in medical situations, (it’s) at least two or three times what any doctor would ever prescribe (to) a patient experiencing trauma.”
Berntson said his department sees a lot of the drug coming through the community.
“Just the fact that this type of quantity is coming in, it’s is disturbing for a community our size — not saying that it’s all going to stay here, we don’t have that information,” he said.
Berntson said based on the investigation, they believe Marsden intended to deliver or sell the drugs. Officers also seized more than $13,000 in cash believed to have been gained from drug sales.
He said the department isn’t sure who or where the shipment was coming from, or if Ketchikan was the final destination.
Berntson said he didn’t have information about whether Marsden’s girlfriend would be charged in the case but that law enforcement is still investigating.
Marsden was appointed a public defender during a court appearance with District Court Judge Kevin Miller on Tuesday. KRBD was not able to contact his public defender for comment.
Marsden is being held on $105,000 bail on two felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance — a Class A felony count of second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, and a Class B felony count of third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.
The next court hearing is scheduled for September 9 at the Ketchikan Courthouse.
Editor’s note: this story has been updated to reflect that Marsden was found to have more than $13,000 in cash.
Raegan Miller is a Report for America corps member for KRBD. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution at KRBD.org/donate.