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Unsealed report alleges police mishandled drug investigation

October 19, 2018 GMT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police mishandled an investigation into drug dealing by recruiters with the Alaska National Guard, a recently unsealed report claims.

A federal judge unsealed a redacted version of the confidential city-funded investigative report Tuesday after the Anchorage Daily News and KTUU argued the public should have access to allegations of wrongdoing by high-ranking public officials.

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The report completed in March 2015 by retired Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. Rick Brown portrays a close relationship between some police personnel and National Guard leadership, and it alleges misconduct by former guard officials and Anchorage police leaders, the newspaper reported .

Police had launched an investigation into drug dealing involving National Guard members in 2010 after a recruiter had told officers he was selling drugs with the use of National Guard resources. The recruiter told police he served as “the main contact” into a Mexican drug ring operating in Anchorage and he transported drugs using military vehicles.

Days after learning of the drug allegations, police revealed key details of the investigation to the head of the Alaska National Guard, violating department policies, according to the report. The Alaska National Guard commander at the time was also a retired Anchorage police captain.

Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew asked the FBI in 2013 to investigate the commander for potentially interfering with the drug investigation. The independent report by Brown led to Mew’s discrete two-week suspension without pay in 2015.

The report claimed the police chief failed to launch an internal investigation into possible police misconduct related to the drug investigation by attempting to rely on the FBI. The report also led to the firing of a police lieutenant, who later filed a lawsuit claiming retaliation and unlawful termination. The case went to trial this week in federal court in Anchorage.

A spokesman for current Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll declined to comment on details of the report, citing the federal civil trial.

“Today, APD is under new leadership, and I can say with certainty APD takes any allegations of misconduct seriously and any substantiated misconduct will not be tolerated,” Doll said in a statement through the spokesman.

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com