Three people were arrested over several days in a series of events stemming from a June 16 shoplifting incident, with a significant amount of methamphetamine seized. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)

Three people were arrested over several days in a series of events stemming from a June 16 shoplifting incident, with a significant amount of methamphetamine seized. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)

Shoplifting investigation leads to arrests on drug charges

Significant amounts of drugs and loose cash, as well as stolen goods, were found.

The Juneau Police Department seized more than two pounds of methamphetamine and other drugs in a series of arrests stemming from a shoplifting incident last week, according to police.

The seizures and arrests all cascaded from a single incident on June 16,a according to police.

On June 16, JPD received a theft report from Sportsman’s Warehouse, that a woman, later identified as 39-year-old Brandi Jo Yatchmenoff had left the store with nearly $300 in goods without paying for them, according to police. Employees attempted to contact the woman, but she left the area in a vehicle.

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The investigating officer was able to identify a second subject in Sportsman’s Warehouse that had loaded up the cart with the stolen items, prior to the woman leaving the store with them, according to police. That subject was identified as 37-year-old Henry Keith Johnson Jr.

On the afternoon of June 23, officers served a warrant on a residence in the Lemon Creek area believed to be connected with Yatchmenoff, according to police. Inside, officers found roughly 2.5 pounds of methamphetamine, 77 grams of heroin, 4.12 grams of material suspected to contain fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, approximately $25,000 in cash, and various goods suspected to be stolen, according to police.

Yatchmenoff and Johnson were arrested in the 2200 block of Crow Hill drive at approximately 4 p.m. Yatchmenoff was arrested for felony second-degree theft and violating conditions of release. Johnson was arrested for felony second-degree theft, according to police.

While clearing the residence, a man parked nearby and said they lived at the residence, according to police, the man identifyed himself as 46-year-old Jeremiah Lee Pond.

According to police, a large amount of cash was visible inside of the vehicle the man parked. He was detained and brought to the police station.

The vehicle, once searched, contained 184 grams of pills suspected to contain fentanyl, roughly 82 grams of heroin, $4,200 in cash and more drug paraphernalia, according to police.

Pond was arrested for two counts of felony second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and one count of theft of felony second-degree theft, according to police.

JPD does not yet have an estimate of the street value of the drugs seized, said Lt. Krag Campbellin an email.

All three defendants were arraigned in court on Friday and are being held on bail, Campbell said.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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