"Person of Interest": Feds seek to hold Juan Camarena in custody

Published: Nov. 18, 2019 at 7:05 PM AKST
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On Monday, federal prosecutors filed a motion to deny the release of 51-year-old Juan Camarena. Camarena, a convicted felon prohibited from having firearms or ammunition, is in custody for having several rounds of live ammunition at his trailer home in Big Lake, according to charging documents.

He is awaiting arraignment.

Although investigators have said the single federal charge is unrelated to the murder investigation, a memorandum filed in support of Camarena's detention reveals at least one of the rounds found in Camarena's trailer is the same caliber -- .40 -- as casings located at the murder scene in Wasilla.

Alaska State Troopers have declined to elaborate on whether they have identified any suspects in the deaths of Marie Campos, Alyssa Jimenez, and Mikey Attwood. The victims knew each other and were killed on November 2 in a residential neighborhood a few blocks off of mile 10 of Knik Goose Bay Road.

In the court filing, federal prosecutors argue Camarena's "lengthy violent criminal history" and his delay in contacting authorities means "there are no conditions that can protect the community from danger and assure his appearance to future court dates."

Camarena has previous convictions for drug dealing

(methamphetamine), weapons violations, evading police, assault, and gang affiliation.

Days after the killings and a police raid in Big Lake, Alaska State Troopers identified Camarena has a "person of interest" in the case. He turned himself in Nov. 15.

Neighbors in both communities told KTUU they've seen an uptick in suspected drug activity and thefts. They also believe a network of sprawling flophouses in the valley is frequented by groups of people who are interconnected and know one another.

Abandoned properties and properties with absentee or elderly owners appear to be prime targets, said Kelly Malidore of Big Lake, and Janet Lestenkof-Flanders of Wasilla. Malidore owns a property close to the one troopers raided Nov. 11. Lestenkof-Flanders lives off of Knik Goose Bay Road in Wasilla.

Both women are active in neighborhood watches. They believe there aren't enough troopers to keep up with the amount of crime the valley is experiencing, and hope smaller neighborhood watches will band together to improve safety.

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