Kodiak police seize $120,000 in heroin, meth, crack and cocaine in major bust

Laurel Andrews
This city of Kodiak, with a population of more than 6,000 people, is a major US fishing port. Loren Holmes photo

Kodiak police seized roughly $120,000 worth of heroin, methamphetamine, crack and cocaine on Sunday. It’s the largest drug seizure that Kodiak Police Chief Ronda Wallace has seen in more than two decades on the job, and the first time Kodiak police have seized Afghan brown heroin on the island, she said Tuesday.

The investigation began early Sunday morning, as police were doing bar checks sometime past midnight, Wallace said. Officers noticed Seneca Harrison, of Missouri, and Anchorage resident Zanders Herndon, both 31, while patrolling the bars. The two men “kind of stuck out,” Wallace said. “Their behavior was odd to officers.”

Officers reported that they got the names of the two men and discovered that they were both parole absconders, meaning they were on parole and had left the areas where they were required to stay. Police then went to a local hotel where the two men were staying. Suspected narcotics were observed during a probationary search -- a search often provided for under conditions of being on probation, according to a press release. Officers returned later Sunday morning with search warrants for two hotel rooms rented by the two men.

Officers allege they found more than 76 grams of suspected black tar heroin, around 28 grams of Afghan brown heroin, more than 10 grams of methamphetamine, more than 42 grams of crack, and around 6 grams of cocaine, along with drug paraphernalia and a smaller quantity of methamphetamine apparently intended for personal use. The bust marks one of the largest amounts of black tar heroin that Kodiak police have seized. Kodiak street value of the drugs is around $120,000, said Wallace, who described it as the highest-value drug bust she's seen in her 15 years with the Kodiak Police Department.

Harrison and Herndon were arrested Sunday and arraigned in Kodiak on Monday. Both men were charged with six counts of varying degrees of misconduct involving a controlled substance, including felony counts.

While Kodiak has long struggled with sales of methamphetamine -- 7 ounces of meth were reported seized in the community last week, with a street value estimated at $26,000 -- there is a shifting trend toward heroin use, Wallace said.

“It’s becoming a big problem,” Wallace said. In April 2013, two people died of heroin overdoses on the island.

“Like everywhere else, we’re experiencing such a high-volume problem now in drugs,” Wallace said. “Drugs fuel other things -- they fuel the robberies, the burglaries, the assaults.” Wallace asked that anyone with possible information on illegal drug sales in Kodiak send in tips to Kodiak Crime Stoppers

Contact Laurel Andrews at laurel(at)alaskadispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter @Laurel_Andrews