Task force arrests two, seizes $40,000 in drugs

The regional organization has members from a number of law enforcement agencies.

The Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs task force arrested two Arizona residents and seized roughly $40,000 worth of drugs Wednesday, said a Juneau Police Department spokesperson.

Tanner Smith, 36, and Megan Pierson, 27, were arrested and taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center, said JPD Lt. Jeremy Weske in a news release. Smith was charged with three counts of second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, one count of third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, one count of third-degree misconduct involving a weapon and one count of tampering with evidence. Pierson was also wanted on a federal probation warrant, according to the release.

“The arrests were without issue,” Weske said in an email to the Empire. “I’m not entirely sure of their tenure in Alaska, but not prolonged. I don’t know that I would quantify it as “a lot” but it certainly isn’t rare to have nonresidents come to Juneau to engage in drug trafficking.”

SEACAD comprises assets from the FBI, JPD, Alaska State Troopers, United States Postal Service Investigative Service, and Coast Guard Investigative Service. The operation was alerted by a package containing Oxycontin addressed to a residence in the 4000 block of Delta Drive.

Freezer stolen from Lemon Creek residence

“Drug cases tend to spider web pretty quickly, which is why we may start in one location and end up with follow-up in another,” Weske said.

A follow-up action was carried out on the 9000 block of Glacier Highway. Task force members, including three JPD detectives, seized 2 grams of methamphetamine, 60 grams of heroin, 215 oxycodone pills, two firearms, and $7,000 in cash, in addition to the package that tipped off the operation, which contained 202 pills of what’s believed to be Oxycontin, Weske said. Weske put the street value of the seized drugs at roughly $40,000.

Weske credits several recent successful operations by SEACAD to federal funds allowing the task force the logistical flexibility to travel throughout the region.

“SEACAD has been doing very well lately. I think we are seeing the effects of the federal pass-through funds that come with a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area designation,” Weske said. “SEACAD is able to travel to other communities without the budgetary restrictions that hampered us in the past and all of the partners are working well together, allowing us to make some good cases.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757.621.1197 or lockett@juneauempire.com.

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