780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

Eight Individuals Arrested During Multi-Agency Drug Bust in Nome

An Alaska State Trooper cruiser. Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM file.
Alaska State Trooper cruiser. Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM file.

This week the Nome Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team (WAANT) lead a multi-jurisdictional drug bust that resulted in a seizure of 7 grams of heroin, approximately $4,300 in cash and paraphernalia, as well as 8 individuals arrested.

Those arrested include: Felicia Larsen, Paul Benchoff Jr, Ida Booshu, Daniel Atkinson, Michael McGowan Jr. and Joan Miller all of Nome, along with Yvonne Aukon of Wasilla and Joel Orazio of Anchorage.

According to a dispatch from Alaska State Troopers, the Nome Office of Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit has been investigating the sale and distribution of heroin and methamphetamine since January, 2020.  Through various techniques and tactics, the investigators were able to determine that numerous individuals were distributing and selling the illicit drugs. 

Nome’s WAANT task force is leading the investigation, but has received assistance from AST investigators, the Bethel Police Department, Nome AST, Nome PD and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. On Thursday October 29th they were able to serve several warrants in Nome that lead to the arrests and seizures. 

All of the suspects have been remanded to Anvil Mountain Correctional Center and are being held without bail pending arraignment.

Nome’s Office of Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit recognizes the need for the community’s assistance, and encourages anyone with information on the sale or distribution of illicit drugs call (907)-443-2835 or 1-800-476-3325.

Image at top: Alaska State Trooper cruiser. Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM file.

Did you enjoy this News story?

Consider supporting our work by becoming a one-time or recurring donor.

Share this story


Recent Posts

A silver / coho salmon, held just out of the water

ADF&G Announces 24 Hour Commercial Fishing Period for Salmon

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has announced that commercial salmon fishing will open in Norton Sound Subdistricts 1-2 and 4-6 for a 24-hour period starting Saturday, July 20. ADF&G hopes to use the window to assess early-season Coho salmon abundance and ensure future management actions are well-informed.

Read More »

July 4: Rick Thoman’s Climate Highlight for Western Alaska

The following is a transcript from Rick Thoman’s weekly “Climate Highlight for Western Alaska” provided to KNOM Radio. Thoman is a Climate Specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. As we head into the latter days of July, daylights starting to

Read More »



Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.