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AK Beat: Troopers bust man allegedly carrying drugs, booze into rural Alaska

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch
NASA photo

Troopers bust alleged bootlegger, drug-running: A tip to the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team on Monday resulted in the seizure of more than half a pound of marijuana and 10 bottles of booze reportedly bound for rural Alaska. Alaska State Troopers said the team was tipped off about the illegal shipment to a local option community that bans the sale, importation and possession of alcohol. Investigators made contact with 43-year-old Anchorage resident Rex L. Rohan at Ted Stevens International Airport and found him in possession of 245 grams of pot and 10 750-milliliter bottles of alcohol. Rohan allegedly planned to travel to the Southwestern Alaska village of Kwigillingok, a tiny community of 317, on a local air carrier. A gram of marijuana can sell for roughly $50 in the village, putting the value of the seized drugs at $12,250, and alcohol can sell for $100-$200 per bottle, said troopers’ spokesperson Beth Ipsen. Rohan was arrested and taken to the Anchorage jail on two fourth-degree drug charges and a single charge of alcohol importation, troopers said.

Cleveland volcano explosion: A brief explosion from Cleveland volcano in Alaska's Aleutian chain was detected by the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) shortly after 7 p.m. Monday. While there were no satellite images available of the volcano after the explosion, it’s unlikely that a minor ash cloud was generated, AVO writes. The agency has received no reports of additional activity from local observers. The brief outburst detected on Monday was similar to one that occurred on Saturday.  Cleveland is a restless volcano that sees multiple changes in its status annually. In May the volcano was put on orange alert after detection of a possible explosion, and the most recent minor ash emissions were observed in November 2012. The volcano forms the western half of Chuginadak Island, a remote island in the east central Aleutians, 940 miles from Anchorage. Cleveland was on yellow alert on Tuesday morning.

Soldotna food bank key stolen -- or not: The Associated Press (via the Indiana-based Republic) reported Tuesday that Alaska State Troopers were on the lookout for a missing key to the food bank in the Kenai Peninsula town of Soldotna, in Alaska's Southcentral region. According to the report, someone pried open a lockbox that held a key for fire department access to the food bank building. But a later report clarified that though the lockbox had been pried open, there was no key inside, according to an official with the food bank.