Twenty-seven-year-old woman is taken into custody at an Alaskan airport for smuggling opioid drugs.
Annette Dilts, 27, was arrested at the Ketchikan International Airport on Feb. 5, 2021, as part of a joint counter-narcotics operation effort between Alaska State Troopers and local law enforcement agencies. Dilts was accused of smuggling more $250,000-worth of illegal drugs and taken into custody as part of an operation designed to stop the trafficking of drugs into Southeast Alaska. She was ultimately charged with two counts of second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, which is a felony.
During a search of her person, authorities announced Dilts was smuggling approximately 250 grams of black tar heroin and approximately 206 fentanyl pills, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety. The total value of the drugs seized was $266,000. The woman was from Prince of Wales Island and brought the pills to the states on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle.
“The street value of heroin in Ketchikan is approximately $1,000 a gram and the street value for a single pill of OxyContin or fentanyl is approximately $80.,” explained Department of Public Services in a release.
“There is a tidal wave of illicit drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl, being pushed into Alaska constantly. The Alaska State Troopers and our law enforcement partners remain committed to disrupting and halting the flow of controlled substances into Alaska,” said trooper Lt. Cornelius Sims, Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit deputy commander. “I commend all of the law enforcement officers that worked together to successfully interdict these narcotics and keep them off of the streets of Alaska.”
State Trooper Larry Duran said the confiscated pills have been sent to the Alaska state crime lab to be identified. Even those marked as OxyContin are suspected to be fentanyl.
Juneau Police Lt. Krag Campbell, not part of the arrest, said, that law enforcement is interested in get higher and higher up “the food chain” of drug trafficking. He explained, “And you can use the, you know, fear of going to jail for criminal charges, to turn people to provide you information. So, when people provide information, then you can learn like, hey, who’s next up on this chain? How does the organization work? That’s where really where a lot of your information comes from.” He added, “So, you had kind of all those people that were on those prescription medications abusing them, then they just switched to heroin, and that’s why we’ve seen this huge spike of heroin use. And fentanyl – fentanyl is fairly new. It’s a very potent and very dangerous drug even in small doses. But we see it often used to imitate medications.”
Ketchikan’s public defender agency declined to comment on Dilts’ case. She’s currently in custody on $60,000 bail.
Alaska has been hit especially hard in recent years by the opioid crisis, and there are plenty of illicit dealers looking to use its vulnerabilities to turn a profit. Just last month, Michael Don Robertson, 68, a former Anchorage psychiatrist, was sentenced to one-year home confinement and five years of probation for conspiracy to commit controlled substance fraud and one count of health care fraud for illegal distribution of opioids. The area has been designated as one to watch for drug trafficking, and authorities continue to be on the look out for individuals smuggling illicit substances into the state at its airports.