Five people face multiple felony charges in what Sitka police say was a drug-related robbery and assault of two local residents earlier this month.
The crime involved meth, guns and squatting on a yacht in the scenic Southeast Alaska community of roughly 9,000 people, according to a criminal complaint filed in Sitka's Superior Court.
A Sitka grand jury Thursday indicted the five people on charges of robbery, assault, burglary and misconduct with controlled substances.
Four of the defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges, said Katholyn Runnels, the statewide drug enforcement prosecutor in the Office of Special Prosecutions. The hearing for the fifth, Sitka resident Porter Treadway, was continued, she said.
All five are part of the "drug milieu in Sitka," as is the woman whom one of them is accused of shooting, according to the complaint.
The complaint is based on an investigation by local police detective Mary Ferguson. Here's what is says happened:
Around 5:30 p.m. March 18, Ferguson was called into work to investigate a shooting. She went to the hospital to speak with the victim, a woman in severe pain, with gunshot wounds to her legs, the complaint said.
The woman told Ferguson that she and her boyfriend went to the grocery store that day, leaving their four children, the eldest 15 years old, at home.
When the couple returned, the woman said, 39-year-old Peter Krovina of Sitka came outside, pointed a shotgun in her face and demanded she get inside the house.
Inside were 22-year-old Andrea "Josie" Avalos, 32-year-old Christina Quintana and Treadway, then 35, the woman told Ferguson. She said the two women used to stay with her, but she had not seen them in a while.
She said the intruders told her that her children were somewhere safe. Her boyfriend was assaulted and bleeding from a head wound, the complaint said.
Quintana then accused the woman of stealing money and "pistol whipped" her in the back of the head and shot her twice, once in each leg, the complaint said.
The guns used by Quintana and Krovina belonged to the woman's boyfriend.
The four intruders left the house with 25-year-old Sitka resident Holly Chambers, all getting into her SUV, according to the complaint.
The injured woman told the detective she believed Chambers had set her up to be assaulted.
In the hospital, the woman worried about her children, the complaint said. Staff told her they were with Chambers and she "got extremely upset," it said.
Police found Chambers at her grandmother's house in Sitka and detained her.
The eldest child, the 15-year-old, told police that Chambers and Avalos had come to the family's home March 18 shortly after their parents left for the grocery store.
The teenager said she did not know the women but her three younger siblings referred to them as "aunt." The women wanted to take the children for ice cream, the complaint said.
Avalos stayed in the house while Chambers left with the four children. She later abandoned the children at a local restaurant where the teenager's grandmother works, according to the complaint.
As police investigated the shooting, the complaint said, they learned that a Sitka resident had bought the plane tickets to fly Quintana and Avalos to town.
Sitka radio station KCAW reported that the women had arrived in town just two days before the shooting. They have New Mexico driver's licenses. Quintana has three active felony warrants, two in New Mexico and a third in California.
Sitka Police Lt. Lance Ewers told the radio station that the women were in town to intimidate and "work as the muscle behind the drug trade."
Police learned the Sitka resident who bought the women's tickets was staying on a 38-foot yacht owned by an Alaska lodge, the complaint said.
There, officers also found Avalos and Quintana, squatting on the yacht without permission. Police deployed "chemical munitions" to force the women off the boat, the complaint said. The women were arrested.
During the officers' search of the boat, they found about 36 grams of meth, pipes, syringes and many small bags.
KCAW reported that a Sitka magistrate called the crimes "the most dangerous and extreme behavior to come through her court."