Tribal Police Officers seize $32,000 of illegal alcohol in Togiak

Oct 15, 2018

On Thursday, Tribal Police Officers seized $32,000 of alcohol before it was smuggled into the dry village. Seven gallons were concealed in apple juice containers. 

Togiak is a local option community in which alcohol is illegal.
Credit Austin Fast/KDLG

Acting on a tip that alcohol was being transported to the village via air cargo, local tribal authorities confiscated 81 750-milliliter bottles and seven one-gallon jugs of whiskey concealed in apple juice containers. The estimated street value was $32,000. 

“I got a tip from the Alaska State Troopers that someone was probably going to be shipping alcohol to Everts Air Cargo," said TPO Leroy Nanalook, who was a responding officer. "We went over to Everts and seized that tote. And then saw two totes that we had been having problems with and seized those other two. And we got a search warrant on all three.”

It is illegal to sell, import or possess alcohol in Togiak, which is a local option community. 

Dillingham-based trooper Justin Hilario said that tips like the one received in this case are vital to law enforcement in Bristol Bay.

“Besides our random searches at the different airports and air terminals, we work off tips we get from the community. We try to follow up on every tip that we do get. And as we can’t be everywhere at once, efforts and tips from the community help us out a lot,” he explained.  

Hilario added that state troopers accept anonymous tips as well. Investigation of the Togiak incident is ongoing. 

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.