Press Releases

02/17/17 DPS PR# 17-004

296 Marijuana Plants Seized in Tok

On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, Fairbanks SDEU received a tip regarding an illegal marijuana grow operation at a residence near milepost 1316 of the Alaska Highway. The following day, investigators with Fairbanks SDEU traveled to Tok to begin working the case with the assistance of the local Alaska State Troopers Post.

Troopers arrived on the property and contacted a man at the residence. Troopers noticed a strong odor of marijuana while they were on the property. The resident was cooperative with troopers on scene and gave consent for the property to be searched and illegal marijuana plants to be seized.

Investigators located 296 marijuana plants in different stages of growth in a large shop adjacent to the residence. Also located was 10 pounds of processed marijuana packaged into quarter ounce bags. The plants and the processed marijuana were seized. The total street value of the marijuana (product and plants) is estimated at about $604,000.

Charges have been forward to the DA’s Office for MICS III x 3.     

The Marijuana Control Board has useful information regarding the legalities of marijuana for both personal use and commercial use on its website.

To learn more, please visit https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/amco/MarijuanaFAQs.aspx.

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02/02/17 DPS PR #17-003

DPS Sends Notification to Individuals of Compromised Personal Information

As part of an ongoing investigation of the burglary and theft that occurred at the Department of Public Safety building which began 12/22/2016, it was discovered that approximately 1,020 people were identified as potentially having some of their personal information compromised.  This prompted the DPS to notify these individuals so that they can take appropriate steps to minimize their risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

On December 30, 2016, an employee of the Division of Statewide Services was arrested for criminal theft from the office.  During the execution of search warrants of the employee’s property, the investigation revealed that the employee removed several records from the office to include documents containing personal information displaying social security numbers.  The records included a number of individuals who completed transactions with DPS between 02/04/16 and 12/30/16.

At this time, DPS has no evidence to suggest there has been any misuse of this information.  However, individuals are encouraged to take precautions to guard against the misuse of personal information that could result in identity theft.

If a person who received a notification through the mail concerning their transaction(s), or that provided personal information to DPS, during this time frame, has questions pertaining to a submitted background check or whether or not their data was part of the thefts, they can contact the Department of Public Safety, Division of Statewide Services, Criminal Records & Identification Bureau at: 907-269-5634.

Link to the original release for the Burglary/Theft/Criminal Mischief posted on the Daily Dispatches webpage: https://dps.alaska.gov/dailydispatch/AK16091967

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01/20/17 DPS PR #17-002

Proactive Investigation into Online Child Pornography Nets Arrest of Wasilla Man

(Mat-Su Valley, Alaska) – In October 2016, the ABI Technical Crimes Unit (TCU)/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) conducted a proactive investigation online. Through their measures, the units identified an unknown suspect in Alaska regarding possession and distribution of child pornography. TCU and ICAC were able to subsequently identify the suspect through the internet service provider as Tyler Weis, 40 of Wasilla.

On January 18, 2017, the TCU served a search warrant on Weis’ residence in the Mat-Su Valley. Numerous computers, phones, and hard drives were seized from Weis’ residence and were transported to the TCU lab in Anchorage to be forensically examined. 

On January 19, 2017, forensic analysis of Weis’ electronics was conducted in the Technical Crimes Unit labs. TCU examiners located evidence that on 1/6/17, Weis committed the crime of Indecent Viewing/Photography against a juvenile victim. New search warrants were obtained and served at Weis’ residence. TCU Investigators arrested Weis without incident and remanded him to Mat-Su Pre-Trial Facility on charges of Possession of Child Pornography, Distribution of Child Pornography, and Indecent Viewing/Photography. Bail was set at $10,000 cash/corporate.

In March 2009, Alaska State Troopers began working cooperatively with the Alaska Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force which is comprised of Alaska State Troopers, the Anchorage Police Department, other Alaskan police departments, the Department of Law’s Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals, and federal partners to conduct proactive enforcement efforts just like this case. Three ABI Investigators hold responsibility for generating proactive work, but an additional three investigators, a unit supervisor and two civilian technicians also assist with necessary case work once a suspect has been identified. Since beginning these proactive cases in 2009, dozens of perpetrators have been identified, charged and prosecuted.

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