A Sitka grand jury has indicted three people for tampering with physical evidence related to a police investigation into heroin trafficking.
34-year-old Cory Allen Mickelson, 27-year-old Alex Blair Petro; and 21-year-old Chelsea Nichole Lyons face felony charges for their parts played in allegedly removing tar heroin from a vehicle being held by police as evidence, and attempting to flush it down a toilet.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Sitka Superior Court, police received a tip about a package of drugs scheduled to arrive in Sitka via an Alaska Airlines cargo plane on July 14. The complaint says that when Mickelson went to pick the package up, he was met by law enforcement. According to court records, he admitted to an officer that the package contained heroin, and that he intended to sell it in Sitka.
Police found about 7 grams of tar heroin in the package, with an estimated value of about $2,500.
Mickelson allegedly told officers that his girlfriend had picked up another package earlier that day, which also contained heroin. She, in turn told officers that the truck she was driving had heroin inside, leading police to seize that vehicle.
The truck was parked at the police department while officers waited for a search warrant. But, according to the complaint, before the truck could be searched, Mickelson was seen entering the truck, removing items and jumping into a car driven by Lyons. When police tracked him down, they reported that they found Mickelson, Petro and Lyons in the process of flushing the heroin down the toilet.
All three face one count of Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Class C felony. Mickelson also faces one count of attempted Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor. Lyons faces two misdemeanor charges for violating the conditions of her release, and driving without a license.
The trial is scheduled for October 5th.