By Melinda Munson

Skagway seasonal employee and Arizona resident David Patterson, 25, was arrested Aug. 10 and held in the Skagway Public Safety Building jail on charges of Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Tampering with Physical Evidence and Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree.

The Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs (SEACAD) task force identified a suspicious package being shipped from Arizona to a Skagway post office box on Aug. 4. A search warrant was obtained and the package proved to contain 29 gross grams of cocaine and 59 gross grams of psilocybin mushrooms.

On Aug. 10, the SEACAD delivered the package to the intended Skagway post office box. Patterson picked up the package and brought it to a residence in the area of One Dyea Mile Road. After opening the package, Patterson was approached by SEACAD officers, detained and later arrested. According to Skagway Police Chief Jerry Reddick, Patterson attempted to flush the package contents.

SEACAD is made up of municipal police departments from Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines, Petersburg, Hoonah, Wrangell, Craig and Yakutat, the Alaska State Troopers, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Postal Inspection Service and Coast Guard Investigative Service.

“This is a continued effort to combat the introduction of controlled substances into our community,” Reddick said. “We will continue to work hand in hand with SEACAD to keep the drugs out of our community, Southeast Alaska and the Yukon.”

Patterson’s employer, Heath Goebel, issued the following statement on a public Skagway Facebook page.

“We had a new seasonal employee this year that lived in a travel trailer on our Dyea Road property that was a subject of a search and seizure warrant. Law enforcement was very professional and courteous. Although we are disappointed and saddened by this event, we are very glad that the authorities are actively working to keep our community safe.”

Patterson’s next hearing is Aug. 24. He remains in custody in Juneau.