Alaska State Troopers say seven Oregon, Hoonah and Juneau residents have been charged with misconduct involving controlled substances in connection with a Southeast Alaska methamphetamines ring. Two of the defendants are already in custody following a Hoonah meth-lab bust, but five have not been arrested.
According to an AST dispatch, a grand jury issued indictments in a total of 28 counts of second-degree misconduct involving controlled substances, as well as 19 counts of purchase or receipt of restricted amounts of certain chemicals.
According to AST spokesperson Megan Peters, troopers believe the ring was meant to produce meth for sales and personal use in the immediate area, rather than smuggling it elsewhere.
Oregon man David Pierce, 36, faces 11 of the misconduct counts, in addition to five counts of purchase or receipt. A Hoonah man, 49-year-old Gary Chamblin, faces three misconduct counts.
Five Juneau residents were charged in the case. Lindsey Yandell, 24, faces four misconduct counts and one of purchase or receipt while Benjamin Parson, 35, faces three counts of misconduct and five counts of purchase or receipt, and Jennifer Hartsock, 36, faces three misconduct counts and eight of purchase or receipt. Danielle Barlow, 29, and Clarissa Paulo, 26, were each charged with two misconduct counts.
Troopers say the initial investigation which produced 28 of the charges began Oct. 10, when Hoonah police who discovered a meth lab at a commercial warehouse asked for assistance from the Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs task force.
“Pierce and Chamblin were located inside the commercial facility by Hoonah (police) and were taken into custody,” troopers wrote. “Inside the warehouse SEACAD discovered three active reaction vessels regarding the ‘One Pot’ method of manufacturing methamphetamine.”
SEACAD investigators learned that Pierce had visited Juneau pharmacies and purchased more than twice the amount legally allowed in 30 days of pseudoephedrine -- a drug often used to make meth and found in decongestants like Sudafed. While federal law permits the purchase of nine grams of pseudoephedrine in 30 days, Alaska law only allows the purchase of six grams during the same time period; Pierce allegedly purchased at least 12 grams of the drug in 30 days.
“Pierce also utilized (Juneau residents) Yandell, Barlow, Paulo, Parson and Hartsock to obtain more than the legally allowed amount of pseudoephedrine,” troopers wrote.
A subsequent Dec. 13 raid of Hartsock and Parson’s Juneau home on Kanat'a Deyi Street led to the seizure of six more one-pot meth labs and their associated precursor chemicals, the source of the remaining 19 charges of the indictment.
While Pierce and Chamblin have been held at Juneau's Lemon Creek Correctional Center since the October meth-lab bust in Hoonah, arrest warrants have been issued for the five defendants from Juneau. Bail amounts range from $25,000 for Parson to $20,000 for Hartsock, $15,000 for Paulo and $10,000 each for Yandell and Barlow.
Contact Chris Klint