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Rural Alaska

Fairbanks airport police seize $133K worth of alcohol and drugs bound for rural Alaska

  • Author: Associated Press
  • Updated: December 13, 2019
  • Published December 13, 2019

FAIRBANKS - Authorities at Fairbanks International Airport seized more than $133,000 in illegal alcohol and more than 140 grams of drugs in the past six months, officials said.

The Fairbanks Airport Police and Fire Department seized 59 gallons of illegal alcohol and 5 ounces of illegal drugs, KTVF-TV reported.

The seizures led to 32 charges filed against 21 bootleggers who were bringing the drugs and contraband alcohol to the area to distribute in rural communities, authorities said.

Village residents often tell authorities how the illegal substances hurt the communities, while many villages have enacted bans on importing or selling alcohol, Fairbanks Airport Police and Fire Chief Aaron Danielson said.

Authorities stop many of the substances at the airport with the assistance of tips from community members, Danielson said.

"The public and those community members can help by notifying law enforcement of the people they know in their community who are bringing illegal drugs and alcohol," Danielson said.

Airport authorities operate an anonymous tip phone line and email address for those with information, he said.

“Letting us know when, where, how, whom, how it’s packaged,” Danielson said, “helps us find and stop those substances from coming in.”