FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Fairbanks Airport Police and Fire Department has seized 222.8 liters of illegal alcohol valued at over $133,000 and 144 grams of illegal drugs in the last six months that were headed to rural Alaskan communities. The seizures led to 32 charges filed against 21 bootleggers according to a press release.
Illegal substances are often flown to villages on small aircraft from the airport. (John Dougherty/KTVF)
Many rural villages have bans on importing or selling alcohol. Airport Police and Fire Chief Aaron Danielson said that they hear from people in the villages about how the illegal substances hurt the communities. He said that they are able to stop lots of the illegal substances at the airport as they are being flown into villages.
Much of the success is due to tips they have received from members of these communities. “The public and those community members can help by notifying law enforcement of the people they know in their community who are bringing illegal drugs and alcohol,” Danielson said, “Particularly when those folks are actually traveling, actually importing those illegal substances back into their communities. Letting us know when, where, how, whom, how it's packaged... [that] helps us find and stop those substances from coming in."
Danielson said they encourage anyone who knows about smuggling operations to leave an anonymous tip by calling 1-877-847-4342 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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