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2 drug busts ‘among the largest fentanyl seizures in Alaska history’ with more than $356,000 worth of drugs seized

A look at the headlines impacting Alaskans.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 12:22 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Law enforcement made two drug busts this week that were “among the largest fentanyl seizures in Alaska history,” according to a news release from the Department of Public Safety.

Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, Anchorage Airport Interdiction Team investigators were told about a suspicious package at a commercial shipping facility. Investigators seized around 2,700 counterfeit M30 fentanyl pills in a package addressed to an Alaska residence.

Based on the seizure, investigators searched a Wasilla residence. Charles Holyfield, 37, of Mesa, Arizona, and Tyrone Hampton, 40, of Redlands, California, were arrested and charged with second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, the release said. Holyfield and Hampton were remanded to Mat-Su Pretrial.

Investigators said the street value of the counterfeit pills was estimated at more than $100,000.

The following day, Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs taskforce investigators were told about a package headed to Craig that was believed to contain narcotics. The package was traced to a Klawock residence and investigators seized 2,000 counterfeit M30 fentanyl pills and 453 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

Cicely Tupou, 39, of Craig, Shanteh Carle, 43, of Hydaburg, and Donald Yates, 44, of Klawock, were arrested on charges of second-degree and third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, according to the release. Tupou, Carle and Yates were confined in the Craig Jail.

The street value of the counterfeit pills was estimated at around $200,000 and the methamphetamine had an estimated street value of around $67,900.

“In 2022, during the months of January, February, and March the statewide (Alaska High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) initiative, including the Alaska State Troopers, seized 1,906 pills containing fentanyl and 1,244.42 grams of fentanyl,” the release said. “During all of 2021 the statewide HIDTA initiative, including the Alaska State Troopers, seized 7,310 pills containing fentanyl and approximately 612.16 grams of fentanyl.”

In the operations on Tuesday and Wednesday, two other people were arrested on charges unrelated to the seized narcotics.

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