AD Main Menu

Peer mentor for recovering addicts arrested for breaking into Togiak clinic pharmacy

Dave BendingerBristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman

George Washington Kase, 25, originally of Dillingham, was arrested April 11 in Togiak for allegedly breaking into the village clinic pharmacy and stealing prescription medications.

Kase had been employed as a peer mentor at the Bristol Bay Area Health Corp.’s Behavioral Health Center and had been speaking to others in Bristol Bay about addiction and recovery. The hospital said he was fired following the arrest Friday.

Video surveillance showed Kase entering the pharmacy late on Thursday night or early Friday morning. After an investigation, the troopers said Kase took small amounts of Tylenol, morphine, codeine, lorezepam, diazepam and other controlled substances. Some of the narcotics were vials or injections.

George Washington Kase could not tell a lie, and “confessed to breaking into the pharmacy and stealing the narcotics,” then using some and flushing the rest down the toilet, according to trooper Mark Eldridge’s written report.

Kase told the troopers he is a recovering drug addict but was struggling with relapse issues. He has a 2013 conviction on his record from Anchorage for possessing small amounts of narcotics and is on unsupervised probation.

Damage to the clinic was estimated at $8,000. Kase was arraigned at the Dillingham court Saturday on seven class C felony charges and three misdemeanors. Bail was set at $25,000 cash.