Juneau man arrested and charged for possession of pills believed to be fentanyl

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - On Jan. 19, members of the Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs (SEACAD) task force, located a suspicious parcel being shipped to Juneau in the mail.

    A search warrant was obtained for the package and inside were 86 grams of methamphetamine and 1,000 pills, believed to contain fentanyl. The pills were round, blue, and imprinted with the markings M/30.

    The following day, SEACAD delivered the package to its intended destination, a residence in the 4200 block of Ptarmigan Street. When SEACAD served a search warrant on the residence, 46-year-old Juneau resident Anthony Lynn Byford, fled from the area on foot. Byford was detained by police and it was determined that he opened the delivered package. During a search of the residence, SEACAD found additional controlled substances and a pistol.

    Byford was placed under arrest and taken to the Lemon Creek Correction Center on the following charges: Attempted misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second degree, a class B felony offense, and attempted misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree, a class C felony offense.

    The seized narcotics have an estimated street value of approximately $49,000.

    Lieutenant Krag Campbell of the Juneau Police Department, said the street value in Juneau varies but is higher than what is being sold in the lower 48.

    "They can vary and it typically varies from time to year, if it's some scarce location across Alaska," he said. "In Juneau we've seen prices at about $35 to $100 a pill at times. Roughly, right now, that's about $40. What I've been told is the market in Alaska is a higher price here, and so it makes Alaska a very lucrative place to import drugs because someone down south is buying it for a low amount. They're shipping up here and selling it at a high amount."

    He said they are seeing more and more of this type of drug and overdoses from it increasing throughout the state. He added that this drug is dangerous, and there's more of it showing up on the streets of Juneau, Southeast communities, and throughout the state, much like the rest of the country. Last month two men overdosed on a drug that also appeared to be fentanyl.

    "Across Alaska and the nation, it's becoming very prevalent that this is a dangerous drug that's going to be impacting our communities," Campbell said. "The makeup of it, the design, everything is all very similar to the stuff in Skagway. They get it up in Sitka, Ketchikan, Anchorage, all those places. It's a very similar product. Not saying it's coming from the same person, but it's designed to look a specific way. And that's what we're seeing."

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