A Sitka man is being sent back to prison for over a year, for violating the conditions of his parole. Another Sitkan is facing charges for allegedly importing 10 pounds of marijuana into the community.
46-year old Michael D. Pizarro was convicted last year on a pair of charges, stemming from an incident in Orion Sporting Goods. According to court records, Pizarro entered the store to shop for ammunition and supplies for a .45 caliber Springfield semi-automatic pistol. Store employees thought the gun matched the description of one stolen from a local resident, and called the police.
When officers arrived at the store and confronted Pizarro, he was found to be carrying a concealed .25 caliber Raven Arms handgun. The Springfield was in his vehicle. The gun had been stolen from a Marine St. home a week earlier, and an attempt had been made to alter the serial number.
Pizarro was convicted on both theft and weapons charges, fined and sent to prison, and subsequently released on parole. However, on January 24th of this year Sitka police officers — while serving a warrant on another individual — discovered Pizarro in a DeGroff St. home. His presence there was a violation of the conditions of his release, and he was remanded to the court on the recommendation of his parole officer and ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Pizarro will return to prison for 14 months. He also must pay $4,000 in fines, which were suspended from his initial sentence. Following his release, Pizarro will be on probation for three years.
Another Sitka man has been summoned to appear before District Court for allegedly attempting to distribute marijuana. According to court records, 33-year old Travis Miller was the intended recipient of a large, “Better Built” contractor toolbox which had been shipped to Sitka on Alaska Marine Lines last December. AML employees alerted Sitka Police to the toolbox, which had been sent by an individual with a prior history of suspicious deliveries.
Alaska State Troopers tested the toolbox with a drug-sniffing dog, who alerted to the presence of a controlled substance. Sitka police then obtained a warrant to open the toolbox. They discovered 10 pounds of marijuana, valued at approximately $136,000.
Court records state that Miller never picked up the package, although it was addressed to him at his residence. Officers subsequently matched Miller’s cell phone records to the sender.
Miller was charged with Attempted Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the 4th degree, a Class A Misdemeanor. He’s scheduled to answer the charge in District Court on February 17.
Miller is a municipal employee, a building supervisor at Harrigan Centennial Hall. His father, Dave Miller, is Sitka’s Fire Chief.
The personal use of marijuana will become legal in Alaska on February 24, however it will remain a controlled substance under state law. The possession limit is 4 ounces, harvested from up to six plants. Sources within the district attorney’s office say the possession of ten pounds of marijuana suggests an intent to distribute it — which remains illegal, until the state legislature creates a regulatory framework in 2016.