crime and courts

Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

State authorities have charged 11 Alaska residents with 85 felony counts for what they say was a coordinated effort to steal money from ATMs and other property in Anchorage and Homer.

The state Attorney General’s Office announced the charges last week.  Authorities say the alleged thieves stole over $25,000 in cash and checks, bicycles and more than 40 firearms. Most of that money is said to have come from the Salty Dawg Saloon on the Homer Spit.

Image courtesy of Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Troopers say a man was found in an RV with a dead Anchorage woman near Ninilchik Saturday. Troopers found 58-year-old Kathy Vancleve of Anchorage dead inside of her RV after troopers unsuccessfully attempted to verbally contact an unknown male inside.

Troopers responded to the RV on Vancleve’s property just off the Sterling highway after receiving a call shortly before 11 a.m. The report came from a concerned family member who feared she may be dead.

Vladimir Dudak, creative commons

Federal prosecutors say a Homer man illegally shipped several modified firearms with defaced serial numbers to New York. A New York grand jury indicted 25-year-old Benjamin Handley in late July on 15 counts of illegally shipping the weapons.

Handley allegedly mailed nine firearms that he is said to have illegally modified into “machineguns”, including a variety of 9 mm and .45 caliber pistols. Serial numbers on each of the guns were allegedly removed.  

Drug Enforcement Administration

Two men who allegedly had 33 pounds of methamphetamine in a backpack after leaving a ferry in Whittier made their initial court appearances Monday in Anchorage.

Whittier Police arrested Eric James Hansen and Marshal Parke on Thursday. Federal authorities say Hansen brought the meth – worth about “$225,000” in wholesale quantities – from Bellingham, Washington to Whittier on the state ferry Kennicott.

The ferry made stops in Southeast Alaska on its way to Whittier, the closest state ferry terminal to Anchorage, about 60 miles away.

Aaron Selbig, KBBI News

Homer’s most iconic bar, the Salty Dawg Saloon, was broken into over the weekend. Manager Cecilia Rockett said two men broke into the bar sometime after it closed early Sunday morning. Rockett said calls of support have been pouring in all day.

“Everybody that works there, we’re all incredibly overwhelmed because we’ve all worked there for a number of years and it’s kind of basically our second home,” Rockett said. “It’s hit us pretty hard in the gut. For me personally, I basically shut my phone off for a while today, go for a walk and clear my head a little bit.”

Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Troopers responded to a burglary at McNeil Canyon Meats Wednesday. The store is about 12 miles from down East End Road from Homer.

Troopers are releasing few details, but said that two men entered the store early Wednesday morning. Troopers say the items taken are worth several thousands of dollars.

McNeil Canyon Meats could not be reached in time for this story.

Editor's note: This is an ongoing story. Check back for more details. 

A former hockey coach at Kenai Central and Soldotna high schools has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing minors over a span of 14 years. So far, seven victims have been identified, according to Alaska State Troopers.

55-year-old Bradley Elliot was arrested July 13 and remanded to Wildwood Pretrial Facility in Kenai after a search warrant was served on his Sterling home. He faces 37 counts, including sexual abuse of a minor, child pornography and misconduct involving a controlled substance. He allegedly provided steroids to victims as a form of bribery, according to troopers.

Homer hunters plead guilty to wildlife charges

May 17, 2016
Alaska State Troopers

Two Homer men pleaded guilty in district court to illegal hunting charges. The charges stem from a September 2015 investigation of a moose hunt near Ninilchik.

According to Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Fadey V. Kuzmin, 43, of Homer, pleaded guilty to taking a bull moose during a closed season and taking more than the limit of moose. Both counts came with fines of $3,000 with $1,000 suspended on each.