Short sentence in case of drugs shipped with dead mice

Dave BendingerBristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman

Lindsay Sifsof, 23, of Dillingham was sentenced to about nine days in jail for her role in an attempt to smuggle a small number of oxycodone pills to Dillingham in April 2013. Sifsof was the intended recipient of a box of dead, frozen mice that concealed the pills. Oxycodone is frequently used as a substitute for heroin.

The case began when Meri Jeanne Burkhardt, 35, delivered the box of mice to an unwitting passenger at the PenAir terminal in Anchorage. She asked the passenger, whom she vaguely knew, to deliver the mice to a Dillingham friend who used them as food for a pet snake. The passenger agreed to carry the mice on the plane, then thought better of it. When he opened the box, he discovered a small baggie hidden inside and notified airport police.

Authorities found nine half-tablets of oxycodone in the baggie. Burkhardt was arrested and in July pleaded no contest to attempted second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. Judge Fred Torrisi sentenced her to 45 days in jail at a hearing in October.

The charge against Sifsof was attempted misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree. She pleaded guilty to that charge Monday, and to one count of violating the conditions of her release.

She was sentenced to 30 days in jail with 15 suspended. With time already served, it was believed she faced about nine days in jail. Magistrate Tina Reigh ordered her to remand herself to custody within 48 hours.

Sifsof's attorney, Moshe Zorea, said Sifsof is a "hardworking, conscientious young woman" who had a "lapse of judgment that won't be repeated again."

"I don't know how you got wrapped up in this," said Reigh, "but I hope this is the last time it happens."

This story first appeared in The Bristol Bay Times/Dutch Harbor Fisherman and is republished here with permission.


Bristol Bay Times/Dutch Harbor Fisherman