Jerzy Shedlock

A 31-year-old Anchorage man faces charges for his role in a prostitution ring, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Court records show Xavier Lanell Cook Benson has been charged with sex trafficking, sexual and physical assault, theft and weapons misconduct. He faces a total of 13 felonies.

The charges are the result of two law enforcement agencies’ investigation into Benson, according to assistant attorney general Adam Alexander.

Benson based his operation in Anchorage but also sent prostitutes to Juneau, Kenai and Fairbanks, Alexander said. He is accused of abusing the prostitutes he dealt with, Alexander said.

This is how the investigation happened, according to the state’s bail memorandum:...

Jerzy Shedlock

Anthony Pouesi, 29, was sentenced on Friday in Anchorage Superior Court to one year in prison for throwing a punch that killed another man outside an Unalaska bar in May.

Both the prosecution and a Dillingham judge who presided over the hearing noted that violent acts fueled by drugs or alcohol happen too often in the secluded communities of the Aleutian chain.

The state initially charged Pouesi, originally from Washington state, with assault and providing false information to police. A charge of criminally negligent homicide was added when the victim died the day after the assault. Pouesi pleaded guilty to that charge in October, and the other charges were dropped...

Jerzy Shedlock

A 32-year-old Anchorage woman faces 20 criminal charges in federal court for cashing $20,000 in stolen checks from more than 10 victims, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The investigation into the thefts is one of several that the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has pursued to address an increase in “mail theft rings” in the city.

Denae Sullivan has been charged with 20 counts of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Prosecutors say she altered checks stolen from mailboxes and vehicles and then cashed them at banks around Anchorage.

Court records show that Sullivan also is charged with stealing the identities of people here and in Illinois...

Jerzy Shedlock

Alaska State Troopers are investigating public allegations of physical and mental abuse against students of an Eastern Orthodox church school for troubled youths in Kodiak.

Former students of St. Innocent’s Academy have submitted victims’ statements to the website Academy Abuse , which went live in early January.

The website’s authors decided to go public with the allegations after Metropolitan Joseph Bosakov -- the leader of the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the U.S., Canada and Australia, who oversees the academy -- failed to take satisfactory action, they said through the site. There are currently 15 victims' statements posted to the website...

Jerzy Shedlock

The last of four men charged in the September 2013 beating of 18-year-old James Clinton in an abandoned downtown house slated for demolition was sentenced Friday to a suspended jail term.

Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton suspended Tye Manning’s sentence for three years and gave the 22-year-old credit for the 338 days he spent locked up while his case was pending. Manning pleaded guilty to one count of hindering prosecution in the case; three assault charges were dropped. Manning faces jail time for the case if he gets in trouble within three years.

The judge said Manning’s time in custody was a satisfactory punishment but noted that if Clinton had died, he’d have faced a decades-long sentence, according to records...

Jerzy Shedlock

The woman found dead at a homeless camp in Anchorage's University-Medical area on Feb. 9 has been identified by police as 31-year-old Maria M. Fairbanks.

Fairbanks’ family has been told of her death, police said.

“There is no evidence of foul play at this time and the death remains under investigation pending toxicology results,” police said in a news release.

Robbery and assault unit detectives are investigating the death, said Anchorage Police Department communications director Jennifer Castro.

The camp where police found Fairbanks is in an undeveloped area behind the wooded Folker Park, across the street from Anchorage Community Mental Health Inc...

Jerzy Shedlock

Thanks to Alaska voters' November approval of a ballot initiative that legalized recreational marijuana use and possession in the state, two newly acquired Anchorage Police Department canines currently undergoing training will have marijuana detection left off their list of lessons.

Unlike the Alaska State Troopers, who intend to retire 10 dogs trained in marijuana detection, APD’s K-9 unit is not getting rid of its three pot-sniffing dogs. Unit supervisor Sgt. Jason Schmidt said that retiring them would be a waste of resources...

Jerzy Shedlock

A 33-year-old man with prior felony convictions for kidnapping and robbery in North Carolina allegedly shot an acquaintance Sunday morning in Anchorage because he’d been “disrespectful."

Terrance Jermaine Beasley faces charges of second-degree murder and weapons misconduct for the fatal shooting of 30-year-old Sentwali Howard.

Howard’s fiancée declined to comment on the death but said the people who attended Monday’s hearing at the Anchorage Correctional Complex all knew Beasley.

The friends hugged one another and cried outside the jail after Beasley made his initial court appearance.

Second-degree murder carries a sentence of up to 99 years in prison. The state asked for and was granted a total bail of $520,000...

Jerzy Shedlock

Charges filed against one of the suspects tied to two fatal shootings last month in Anchorage detail young suspects trying to steal 1 ounce of pot from dealers in the first incident and then attempting to take another quarter-pound in a second incident, and the deadly consequences of those plans.

Anchorage police have charged 19-year-old Makur Chan in both shootings. The charging documents indicate cellphone records and witness interviews led to his arrest.

Chan allegedly shot Jeanpal Borge, 20, once in the forehead using a firearm with a laser sight, the charges say. And he told police he witnessed the shooting that killed Charles Gustav Steinhilpert III, 18...

Jerzy Shedlock

A woman was found dead Monday at a homeless camp in the University-Medical District, Anchorage police said.

Dispatchers got a report about the woman, saying she was unconscious and not breathing, around 10:30 a.m. Monday, said Anchorage Police Department communications director Jennifer Castro.

Police are investigating at the camp near East 40th Avenue and Folker Street to find out what caused her death, Castro said.

Police are still trying to establish the woman’s identity, she said.

The small camp is in an undeveloped area behind the wooded Folker Park, across the street from Anchorage Community Mental Health Services Inc. It’s hidden behind three brown storage sheds and a large, rusted shipping container...

Jerzy Shedlock