A jet takes off from Juneau International Airport in June 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Drug arrests at airport, in California pertain to heroin, meth trafficking in Juneau

A woman who allegedly tried to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine into Juneau earlier this month was indicted last Friday on two counts of drug misconduct.

According to charging documents, the Juneau Police Department received an anonymous tip that SallyJean Toutuk Brown, 32, would be flying into the Juneau International Airport on April 5. According to a report from JPD Detective Jeff Brink in the charging document, Brink obtained a search warrant based on information received prior to Brown’s arrival and from talking with Brown at the airport.

Brown pulled 12 “ping pong ball sized” balloons from her waistband area, and she later produced 13 balloons the size of ping pong balls that were in her vagina and anal cavity, according to charging documents.

In total, according to the indictment, the 25 total balloons carried 82 gross grams of heroin and 276 gross grams of meth. Brink wrote in his report that those amounts of heroin and meth are worth an estimated $41,000 and $27,000, respectively. According to Brink’s report, Brown stated she had brought the substances to Juneau to sell.

This was the second drug-related arrest at Juneau International Airport in the span of three weeks. Stefani Amanda Dennis, 30, was indicted on a charge of second-degree drug misconduct after allegedly bringing 237 gross grams of meth to town on a plane March 19. A trial for Dennis is scheduled for June 11, according to online court documents.

California drug arrests tied to Juneau

Six members of a drug trafficking organization were arrested California this past week, and court documents show that the trafficking ring extended to Juneau.

According to a release from the Department of Justice, court records allege that between Jan. 1, 2015 and April 11, 2018, the six defendants conspired to distribute methamphetamine, heroin or cocaine in Modesto and Juneau. It’s unclear if there’s a tie between the California drug ring and the recent arrests at the Juneau International Airport.

None of the defendants are from Juneau, and all are from California. Indicted members of the drug trafficking organization include Alecia Trapps, 54, of Manteca; Jimmy Brantley, 40, of Manteca; Carmen Conejo, 51, of Long Beach; Ernest Westley, 60, of Modesto; Sheena Taylor, 41, of Modesto; and Joseph Vasquez, Jr., 32, of Modesto.

The six defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on April 5, and law enforcement officials made arrests and drug seizures this past week. The seizures included 45 pounds of methamphetamine, four pounds of heroin and three pounds of cocaine, according to the release.

The arrests came as a result of a year-long investigation by 12 law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Juneau Police Department, according to the release. Departments in two counties in Washington also assisted, according to the release, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melanie L. Alsworth and Laurel J. Montoya are prosecuting the case.

If convicted, the defendants face at least 10 years in prison and up to life in prison, according to the release. They might also have to pay a fine of up to $10 million.



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• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.



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