A woman was arrested in Nome last week (Dec. 20) for attempting to smuggle alcohol and illegal drugs to Savoonga, a village located on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. Savoonga is a “dry” community, which means it’s illegal to possess and import alcohol and marijuana.
According to Alaska State Trooper dispatch, the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team, or WAANT arrested 44 year-old Melissa Kava of Savoonga as she was boarding a flight to Savoonga from Nome.
According to dispatch, Kava was found in possession of about 120 (119) counterfeit blue “M30” oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl and alcohol, coming to a combined street value of $11,000 in Savoonga.
Trooper spokesperson Austin McDaniel said troopers have seen an increase in counterfeit pills across the state. He said the Drug Enforcement Administration has found that six out of ten of these counterfeit oxycodone pills contain enough fentanyl to kill the average person.
“The most common form of fentanyl that the Alaska State Troopers come across whether that’s in Anchorage or in rural Alaska are these counterfeit blue pills that are marked ‘M30s.’”
Kava is being held at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center, without bail pending her arraignment.
Photo at top: A Trooper vehicle parked in Nome. Photo Credit: Davis Hovey, KNOM (2017)