ANCHORAGE, Alaska—A man described by residents and police in an Aleutian Islands town as a known drug dealer was turned around at the local airport and run out of town by parents when he arrived from Anchorage Tuesday.
In this photo posted on Facebook, Sand Point residents say about 10 angry parents confronted a suspected drug dealer who had just arrived from Anchorage (far left, blurred face) and bought him a plane ticket back on the same PenAir flight he'd taken to the East Aleutians Borough community Tuesday night. Police couldn't confirm locals' identity of the man because he wasn't charged with a crime, but say he has a history in the town of about 1,000 people. (Courtesy Carmen Dushkin / August 21, 2013)
Locals in the East Aleutians Borough community of Sand Point say the incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, when a nightly PenAir flight arrived in town from Anchorage with the man on board.
In a caption for a Facebook photo of the confrontation posted by resident Carmen Dushkin, she said the incident personifies opposition by locals to a continuing flow of drugs into their communities.
"Sand Point takes a stand to remove known drug dealers," Dushkin wrote. "Team Sand Point will not let you come into our town and corrupt the youth of tomorrow."
The Sand Point incident follows a tradition dating back to Alaska Native tribes of banishing offenders who disturb the peace as a form of punishment, one adopted by Gold Rush-era residents as a "blue ticket" out of town by the first available means of transportation.
. . . According to Sand Point Police Department officer Michael Livingston, who witnessed the exchange, police couldn't confirm locals' identification of the man as he was not charged with a crime. The man does have a history in the 1,000-person community, which has seen problems with illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin and meth, as well as abuse of prescription drugs.
"Typically, what happens is a drug dealer flies into Sand Point with, say, 1,000 Percocet (oxycodone pain pills) and he has a runner sell them for 150 bucks apiece," Livingston said. "And within a couple weeks, he's leaving town with about $150,000 cash."
. . . When the man entered the terminal, Livingston says he promptly found himself face-to-face with about 10 angry parents.
"Well, I've seen this man get off the plane before and go to various houses in Sand Point, and my impression of him is that he's kind of a shy reserved guy," Livingston said. "When he got off the plane and there was a semicircle of angry people, he seemed to be quite shocked by it and found it a pretty unpleasant situation to be in; I think he was relieved to be able to get back on the plane."
According to Livingston, the man's departure from the airport was met by loud approval as onlookers saw him board the return flight to Anchorage.
The rest of the story can be found here. Score one for the good guys!