Police at Anchorage airport seized close to $100,000 in illegal drugs over the Thanksgiving holiday

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 9:00 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Thanksgiving holiday proved to be busy for the nation’s commercial airports, including Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. But airport police found themselves busier than usual.

The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Police seized just over 18 pounds of marijuana after a passenger arrived Nov. 26.

“I would say this is our largest seizure to date,” Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Police and Fire Department Chief Aaron Danielson said of the time since he’s been in charge.

He estimated the street value of the pot to be about $80,000.

“We got notified from a law enforcement agency out of California that there was a suspected large amount of marijuana being transported up,” Danielson said. “We had enough detailed information about that to meet that individual after he picked up his bag with a search warrant in hand.”

The marijuana is not the only illegal drug seized by airport police over the holiday weekend.

They also recovered 115 grams of methamphetamines, worth close to $17,000, bound for King Salmon on Nov. 24.

“In the other one, TSA had noticed some anomalies through some luggage and baggage,” said Danielson about the seizure. “During their investigation, they found a white crystalline substance which tested positive for the presumption for methamphetamines.”

Danielson said this seizure in particular was a good one in terms of helping to prevent the drugs from being distributed elsewhere, “particularly because some of these were headed out to smaller communities.”

Danielson added that officers seized just over $10,000 in cash in the same incident on Nov. 24. Police arrested one person in each case, but the names have not been released.

The seizures are posted on the department’s Facebook page, but that’s not the only reason why the department is turning to social media. Danielson wants to make people aware the airport has its own police and firefighters.

“We don’t have very much high visibility,” Danielson said. “People don’t see us unless we’re traveling. But they do a lot of good work.”

That includes, according to Danielson, making sure people travel safely, and not carrying anything illegal.

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