Local News

Handgun bust leads to drug, weapons charges

Two Sitka men have been indicted on several charges of trafficking in drugs and stolen firearms.

A grand jury last Friday (1-31-14) indicted 45 year old Michael Pizarro on one count of Theft in the second degree, one count of Misconduct Involving Weapons in the third degree, and one count of Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the second degree.

The grand jury indicted 22-year old Samuel Petro on one count of Theft in the second degree.

The charges stem from an incident on the afternoon of Saturday, January 25, when an employee of Orion Sporting Goods reported to police that a customer was in the store, in possession of a stolen firearm.

According to court records, officers arrived and spoke to Michael Pizarro, who said he was in the store purchasing ammunition and accessories for a gun. Officers asked if Pizarro currently had the weapon on his person, and he responded that the gun was in a case in his vehicle.

At this point, according to police records, Pizarro allegedly denied for a second time having a gun on his person, and then said, “Oh yeah,” and reached into his pocket and withdrew a .25 caliber Raven Arms handgun.

Police immediately secured the weapon, and accompanied Pizarro to his car in the parking lot.

Inside the car, officers found a .45 caliber Springfield semi-automatic handgun. A check of the serial number revealed that the Springfield had been stolen from a Marine Street home about a week earlier.

The Springfield .45 was the weapon that caught the attention of the Orion employees, when Pizarro had taken it into the store earlier.

According to court documents, Pizarro told officers that he purchased the Springfield from Sam Petro for $300, without a bill of sale.

At the time of the incident, officers allegedly discovered Pizarro in possession of over $9,500 in cash in $20 and $100 bills.

Later that evening, officers executed a search warrant of Pizarro’s Monastery St. residence and found a quarter of a gram of heroin packaged for distribution, just under 4 grams of heroin in an orange plastic container, and two scales commonly used to measure narcotics — one of which was disguised as an iPhone.

Based on street values in Sitka, police estimate the value of the heroin at over $4,000.

Pizarro allegedly admitted to officers that he distributed roughly a half ounce of heroin in Sitka per month.

Pizarro was arrested and charged. He was released on $5,000 bail. Both Pizarro and Petro were scheduled to appear in Sitka Superior Court Monday afternoon (2-3-14) to answer the charges.

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