Kenneth Kitka, 65, is taken into custody following a nearly three-hour standoff with police at a downtown Juneau residence on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Kenneth Kitka, 65, is taken into custody following a nearly three-hour standoff with police at a downtown Juneau residence on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Man arrested after downtown standoff faces 10 criminal charges as drugs, cash, handguns seized

Kenneth Kitka, 65, has previous history of drug charges as new case gets first hearing Friday.

A man arrested after a nearly three-hour standoff Thursday had his first court appearance on 10 drug-related charges at the Juneau Courthouse on Friday. 

Kenneth Wendell Kitka, 65, faces nine felony counts and one misdemeanor charge, according to the Alaska Court System’s database. He has an extensive criminal history, according to the database, including multiple previous drug-related charges.

Drugs seized following the standoff had a street value of about $170,000, according to an information release published Friday afternoon by the Juneau Police Department.

The standoff occurred when officers with the Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs task force, whose participants include JPD and the FBI, arrived at a multi-residence structure on North Franklin Street at about 10:20 a.m. Thursday. The officers were serving search warrants at an apartment in the building in connection with a drug investigation that has been ongoing for more than a year.

“At the onset of the warrant service, JPD deployed a distraction device and issued voice commands to come outside,” the JPD release issued Friday states. “At that time, two individuals exited the residence. The man who was the target of the investigation did not comply and remained inside the residence. At about 11:45 a.m., JPD began deploying chemical munitions into the residence. The male subject exited the residence at about 1:05 p.m.”

The two other people inside the residence who exited shortly after the officers arrived were not arrested, according to Erann Kalwara, JPD’s public safety manager.

Items seized by officers included more than $100,000 in cash, three handguns, 80.74 grams of a tar-like substance that field tested positive for heroin, 5.11 gross grams of a crystalline substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, 26.2 gross grams of a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine and 4,000 blue pills imprinted M/30 that suspected of containing fentanyl, according to JPD.

Kitka was evaluated at Bartlett Regional Hospital following his detention, then taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center. According to JPD. Kitka was initially charged with two counts of second-degree misconduct involving controlled substances (heroin and fentanyl distribution), two counts of third-degree misconduct involving controlled substances (cocaine and methamphetamine), fourth-degree misconduct involving controlled substances (LSD), second-degree misconduct involving weapons, four counts of third-degree misconduct involving weapons (felon in possession) and violating conditions of release.

The case filed by prosecutors Friday against Kitka is similar — with one less weapons charge — including two Class A felony charges of manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance, two Class B charges of manufacturing or delivering a controlled substance, a Class C felony charge of misconduct involving a controlled substance with a drug conviction during the previous 10 years, a Class B felony charge of weapons misconduct in connection with a drug crime, three Class C felony charges of a felon being in possession of weapons, and a Class A misdemeanor charge of violating conditions of release for felony.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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