Police warn against aiding fugitive as search continues into holiday weekend

Sep 2, 2016

Saturday, 10 a.m.:  DPD and AST have not been able to apprehend Christian A. Young, a known heroin dealer from Anchorage, who fled capture on foot Friday afternoon.

Chief Pasquariello was staged at Bigfoot on Nerka Dr. as the light faded, talking with residents and passersby.
Credit KDLG

Update, Saturday 10 a.m.: Christian Andre Young, Dillingham's now most infamous fugitive, has not yet been captured by authorities. DPD Chief Dan Pasquariello understands citizens are concerned and hope to have an update when the suspected heroin dealer is caught or confirmed out of the region.

"We're hanging more flyers and talking with more people who might know where he is or where he stayed the night," he said. "I'd like to remind some folks though, if you're caught helping him hide or avoid arrest, you will be charged with hindering prosecution."

Young is described as a light skinned black male, six feet tall, and approximately 185 pounds. He is wanted on a robbery charge out of Anchorage, but local authorities believe he has been selling drugs in Dillingham and Aleknagik for a week or more, and were hoping to question him about that once he was in custody.

Earlier updates below.

Update, 9:00 p.m.:  As the light faded on a cloudy Friday evening, Dillingham police and state troopers wound down their efforts to track down Christian Andre Young for the day. Despite several sightings, the 24-year-old from Anchorage eluded capture over roughly eight hours.

DPD Chief Dan Pasquariello suspected the known heroin dealer would find a place to get out of the bugs, bears, and rain for the night.

"Everybody who saw him, he asked them for a phone. And we know he has plenty of associates in town," the Chief said, standing in the drizzle outside of the Bigfoot store on Nerka Drive.

Christian Andre Young, 24, of Anchorage, is a suspected heroin dealer and is wanted for robbery in Anchorage.
Credit AST

Sequence of Friday's manhunt

Dillingham police were not aware at first that Young was in town, one of what Pasquariello calls his "every couple of months" business trips. When DPD learned Young was scheduled to fly out on PenAir's midday flight, police attempted to arrest him there pursuant to a warrant in an Anchorage robbery case. Another man picked up Young from the terminal before the flight, which may have been delayed, and police stopped that vehicle. The driver, who has not been publicly identified, was not cooperative. Young had slipped out and fled on foot before the stop, and police began a search.

News of the search was published on KDLG, and tips of Young's whereabouts came pouring in to law enforcement. State troopers joined the effort. 

Pasquariello had been busting through the brush in trails around Nerka Loop Friday evening.
Credit KDLG

One caller said a man had just come up from Squaw Creek onto Nerka Drive near Bigfoot and asked how far and which way was it to Aleknagik. Police responded to the area. Another tip said a man had been seen walking in Squaw Creek at low tide near Gusty's boat yard. Police checked there, too, but realized that spotting had likely happened first, and Young was making his way upstream.

Returning to Nerka, officers went door-to-door. One man told police a stranger had come up from the woods and asked to use a phone, a request the gentleman less than politely refused.

"Then we checked a few homes, let's just say, we thought he might've known some folks at," said the Chief. At one place, Young had stopped by and had used a cell phone. The police redialed the number and recognized the local voice on the other end, but that person wasn't helpful.

Chief had a few of Young's cell phone numbers, and called those as well.

"I think they'd been turned off, but it never hurts to try. I basically did the 'Hawaii Five-O' thing, said 'Hi Christian, we've sealed off the island, why don't you come on down to the station.'"

Pasquariello and another office searched the powerline and other trails, turning up no clues. Near sunset, the effort was scaled back to the one on-duty officer for the rest of the night.

"I think we've been about 10 to 15 minutes behind him," said AST sergeant Luis Nieves. "He's going to be trying to get up to Aleknagik I think, but the weather's starting to deteriorate, so that's a good thing. People should definitely lock their homes, lock their cars tonight."

A known heroin dealer, higher on the food chain

Chief Pasquariello, who used to be the city's liasion officer with the WAANT investigator, has known about Young and his frequent visits to town for several years.

"We think he has plenty of customers, and plenty of connections. Sometimes he'll send somebody else in, but every few months we hear he's been in and out of Dillingham himself," he said.

Christian Andre Young, of Anchorage, has a lengthy rap sheet including several armed robbery cases. Other charges include theft, assault, and drug trafficking. According to online court records, most of the cases originated in Anchorage, and most of the charges have been dismissed. He has used several aliases on Facebook, including one named after infamous mobster Tommy Lucchese.

Bus stop in Nerka Loop.
Credit KDLG

Dealers, Pasquariello said, may take smaller carriers into other villages and travel by skiff to Dillingham to escape some routine monitoring. Chief suspected Young would try to get upriver by boat and arrange further travel from Ekwok or New Stuyahok back to Anchorage. He left "Wanted" posters at the harbor, airlines, stores, and elsewhere in town.

Just this week, AST sergeant Nieves told KDLG he believed heroin dealers would target the area this week, as fishing earnings are paid and Native corporation dividend checks are paid out. Pasquariello believes Young has been in town for just a week and has made thousands of dollars, not specifying how he knows that to be true.

Like other businessmen who come to town, it seems Young also took in some area pursuits.

"Yeah he went hunting upriver, and apparently got a moose," said Pasquariello. "That's what people tell us."

(Call in tips or sightings of the wanted fugitive to Dillingham dispatch at 907-842-5354)

Reach the author at dave@kdlg.org or 907.842.5281.

While some residents let KDLG know they were locking doors and staying armed, others seemed less concerned about the wanted fugitive in the area.
Credit KDLG

Earlier updates below.

Christian Andre Young, 24, is wanted by law enforcement but slipped away from a near arrest Friday afternoon by the Dillingham Airport.
Credit AST

Update, 4:00 p.m.:  DPD chief Dan Pasquariello says the public has provided numerous tips, but so far the suspect Christian Andre Young has not been captured.

Young fled on foot after DPD attempted to pick him up near the airport Friday at lunchtime.

Police and troopers have been seen around the Bigfoot Store on Nerka Dr., and Pasquariello confirmed a tip had said the suspect was seen running near the woods in that vicinity.

Authorities considered using a helicopter for their search, but none were available. One tip suggested he was trying to find a skiff ride to Clarks Point to catch a connecting flight elsewhere. 

Young is wanted on a robbery charge from Anchorage, but law enforcement suspects he has been in Dillingham in connection with drug trafficking.

DPD welcomes tips and sightings at 907-842-5354 or 9-1-1.

Original story below:

DILLINGHAM: At just past 1 p.m., Dillingham Police and the Alaska State Troopers told KDLG news they are seeking a suspect wanted on an arrest warrant for robbery.

Christian Andre Young, 24, of Anchorage, is also suspected of dealing drugs in Dillingham.

He was last seen in the area between the airport and the Airport "Y" intersection, on foot.

Police say they attempted to arrest Young at the airport on the robbery warrant, but a vehicle picked him up from the terminal. When police stopped that vehicle, only the driver was inside, and Young has not been found.

State troopers describe Young as light skinned black male, six feet tall, and approximately 185 pounds.

Christian Andre Young is a wanted fugitive, and the public is asked to call dispatch at 842-5354 or dial 9-1-1 with any information regarding his whereabouts.

Police say they believe he may have been in town for roughly a week, and was scheduled to fly back this afternoon.

Reach the author dave@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.