Troopers seize rainbow fentanyl, heroin in Fairbanks arrest of Arizona drug traffickers

Troopers seize rainbow fentanyl, heroin in Fairbanks arrest of Arizona drug traffickers
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 2:22 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - Members of the Alaska State Trooper’s Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit seized thousands of counterfeit pills and dozens of grams of heroin and arrested three men following a multi-day investigation in the Fairbanks region.

According to a press release from the Department of Public Safety, Arizona residents Christopher Birdow, 36, Daniel Barnes, 37, and William Gurley, 29, were arrested and charged with second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, second- and third-degree misconduct involving a weapon, and tampering with physical evidence.

Investigators from the Fairbanks Area Narcotics Team received a tip that the three men were selling fentanyl-laced pills in the Fairbanks area on Nov. 3 and began investigating.

Investigators then executed a search warrant at a Fairbanks area hotel on Nov. 9, where approximately 1,090 blue counterfeit fentanyl pills, 3,090 rainbow counterfeit fentanyl pills, about 88 grams of heroin, and $13,500 in cash were seized. Troopers estimate the cache had a street value of $150,000.

“This investigation shows that drug traffickers will go to extremes to distribute their deadly illicit narcotics, in this case, all the way to Alaska from Arizona,” said Jacob D. Galvan, the Seattle Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Acting Special Agent in Charge. “We are committed, along with our state and local partners, to relentlessly and aggressively pursue, arrest and hold these individuals accountable for the harm they bring to our communities.”

The Fairbanks Area Narcotics Team that performed the investigation is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Alaska State Troopers, North Pole Police Department, Fairbanks Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration.