Juneau police see spike in heroin, meth seizures
There was a sevenfold increase in heroin seizures and a nearly fivefold spike in methamphetamine confiscation in Alaska’s capital last year, according to statistics released by the Juneau Police Department Friday.
In all, JPD seized 4,650 grams of heroin, which had an estimated street value of $46.5 million. Heroin is usually sold as a “point” — a tenth of a gram — and goes for about $100, according to a statement from the department. In 2013, 592 grams was seized.
Meth seizures also saw a spike — 3,631 grams with a street value of approximately $635,446 was confiscated in 2014. In 2013, 760 grams — worth $124,017 — was seized.
Lt. Kris Sell attributes part of the increase to police seizing larger packages of drugs compared to 2013. In September, for instance, a man who had thousands of dollars worth of stolen Costco jewelry in his possession was allegedly involved in a conspiracy to sell it for a kilogram of heroin, which Juneau police seized.
Heroin has also become cheaper, Sell said, and people taking other kinds of drugs may have switched over. Seizures of OxyContin, oxycodone, hydrocodone and Vicodin combined were down 75 percent during 2014.
The total street value of drugs seized for 2014 was nearly $5.8 million. JPD says they have plans in the works to purchase a drug identification K-9 this year.
Heroin and meth seizures spiked in other parts of the state last year as well. In April, the Kodiak Police Department made the biggest drug bust in the history of the department when they confiscated meth and heroin with an estimated street value of $2.2 million.