Two men were indicted in Sitka in July in drug cases– both for possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine.
52-year-old Dennis Backstrom was indicted on two felony drug charges and one misdemeanor. The charges stem from an incident July 22, when police say they found drugs in Backstrom’s hotel room. According to court documents, Sitka Police responded to a call reporting an assault at the Sitka Hotel. After detaining Backstrom and interviewing the alleged victim, police say they searched his hotel room, with his consent. They found blue pills with the letters M-30 marked on them, suspected to be fentanyl, and methamphetamine.
On July 27, Backstrom was indicted on two counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree, both Class C felonies, and one count of assault in the fourth degree, a Class A misdemeanor. Backstrom remains in custody at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau.
In a separate matter, on June 5, 33-year-old James O’Brien was indicted on one felony drug charge. Police say they responded to a report of a man in the Moller Field parking lot who was unconscious in a parked car with the engine running. They found O’Brien asleep in the car with two blue pills in his lap, and later found a third while conducting a field sobriety test. The pills were suspected to be fentanyl. Police also say they found a bag of methamphetamine tucked away in a box of cigarettes.
Drugs in both cases were sent to the state crime lab for testing.
On July 13, O’Brien was indicted on one count of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree, for possession within 500 feet of a youth recreation center, which is a Class B felony.
Hearings in both cases are scheduled for mid-August.