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Suspect arrested in double homicide at Alaska Coast Guard station

  • Author: Suzanna Caldwell
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published February 15, 2013

After months of silence, federal investigators announced the arrest of a man suspected of killing two men on Alaska's remote Kodiak Island in April 2012.

James Michael Wells of Kodiak was arrested Friday for the murder of U.S. Coast Guard Electrician's Mate First Class James Hopkins, 41, and retired Chief Boatswain's Mate Richard Belisle, 51, according to a short, late Friday night press release from the Alaska U.S. District Attorney's office.

Ten months ago the two men were found shot dead while working at the Kodiak Coast Guard station. Investigators -- including the FBI, Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers -- remained tight-lipped throughout the process, offering few details until Friday.

Kodiak is a small, isolated Alaska community -- population 6,000 -- 250 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Wells was arrested under a federal arrest warrant based on a criminal complaint. He is scheduled to appear in Anchorage court next week.

Contact Suzanna Caldwell at suzanna(at)alaskadispatch.com

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