Crime & Courts

Dog helps authorities find $1.4 million stash of meth and heroin in Anchorage

Federal authorities charged an Anchorage man this week with trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine and heroin after a seizure by postal inspectors — with help from a narcotics canine — led to the discovery of $1.4 million worth of illegal drugs.

Cheng Chiew Saechao, 28, was arrested on Monday. He had planned to distribute the drugs in Anchorage, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

The arrest came after the U.S. Postal Inspection Service seized 10 pounds of methamphetamine that had been shipped to Alaska from California, the office said.

A narcotics dog had "indicated on" the package, according to an affidavit written by Joel Miner, a Drug Enforcement Administration officer.

Authorities took Saechao into custody when he tried to pick up the package, the affidavit said.

That led to a search of Saechao's home on Wildberry Loop off Strawberry Road in South Anchorage. Authorities found 4 kilograms of heroin, enough for 40,000 doses, the affidavit said. That could be worth up to $1 million on the street, the affidavit said.

Authorities also found drug trafficking evidence, including packaging materials, a digital scale and a handgun, the affidavit said.


The seized meth totaled 4,456 grams, the affidavit said. Each gram is worth about $100 on the street, the affidavit said. That brings the meth's value to $445,600.

"Following his arrest, Saechao admitted receiving pounds of heroin and methamphetamine in recent months and further admitted he intended to distribute the heroin throughout the Anchorage area," the district attorney's office said.

Saechao faces a $10 million fine and at least 10 years in prison.

Saechao made his initial court appearance on Tuesday. He was ordered detained while he awaits grand jury indictment.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or