Press Releases

03/14/17 DPS PR# 17-005

Scheme to Defraud and Forgery 2

On September 14, 2016, Investigators from the Alaska State Troopers, Bureau of Investigations, Financial Crimes Units appeared before the Anchorage Grand Jury and presented a complex check fraud, theft, and identify theft investigation. This investigation discovered four individual victims, five financial institutions, and numerous local businesses accrued a financial loss. The estimated financial loss exceeds $60,000.00 between March 2016 and June 2016. Nakisha Reed, age 36, of Anchorage, was indicted on one count of Scheme to Defraud, one count of Theft in the First degree, one count of Falsifying Business records,  and 26 counts of Forgery in the Second Degree. Derrick Grandberry-Williams, age 40, of Anchorage, was indicted on one count of Scheme to Defraud, one count of Theft in the First degree, one count of Attempted Criminal Impersonation in the Frist degree, one count of Falsifying Business Records, five counts of Forgery in the Second Degree. Mia Stephens, age 18, of Anchorage, was indicted on three counts of Forgery in the Second degree and one count of Theft in the Second degree. Jeffery Debaere, age 41, of Anchorage, and Kyleen Erdman, age 33, of Anchorage, were both incited on two counts of Forgery in the Second degree and one count of Theft in the Second degree. As of 9/15/2016, all the defendants in this case were incarcerated.

On March 13, 2017, Grandberry-Williams, Reed, Stephens, and Debaere appeared before the Anchorage Court and entered guilty pleas on Forgery and Scheme to Defraud charges. Grandberry-Williams pled guilty to one count of Forgery in the Second Degree and was sentenced to five years in jail with two suspended, and two years of probation. Reed pled guilty to one count of Scheme to Defraud and was sentenced to six years in jail with four suspended, and five years of probation. Stephens pled guilty to one count of Forgery in the Second Degree and was sentenced to a two-year SIS with 90 days to serve.  Debaere pled guilty to one count of Forgery in the Second Degree and was sentenced to 2.5 years with six months to serve and three years of probation. Restitution will be ordered at a later hearing. The fifth defendant, Erdman, withdrew her plea and her case is being set for trial. 

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02/17/17 DPS PR #17-004

296 Marijuana Plants Seized in Tok

On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, Fairbanks SDEU received a tip regarding an illegal marijuana grow operation at a residence near milepost 1316 of the Alaska Highway. The following day, investigators with Fairbanks SDEU traveled to Tok to begin working the case with the assistance of the local Alaska State Troopers Post.

Troopers arrived on the property and contacted a man at the residence. Troopers noticed a strong odor of marijuana while they were on the property. The resident was cooperative with troopers on scene and gave consent for the property to be searched and illegal marijuana plants to be seized.

Investigators located 296 marijuana plants in different stages of growth in a large shop adjacent to the residence. Also located was 10 pounds of processed marijuana packaged into quarter ounce bags. The plants and the processed marijuana were seized. The total street value of the marijuana (product and plants) is estimated at about $604,000.

Charges have been forward to the DA’s Office for MICS III x 3.     

The Marijuana Control Board has useful information regarding the legalities of marijuana for both personal use and commercial use on its website.

To learn more, please visit https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/amco/MarijuanaFAQs.aspx.

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01/02/17 DPS PR #17-003

DPS Sends Notification to Individuals of Compromised Personal Information

As part of an ongoing investigation of the burglary and theft that occurred at the Department of Public Safety building which began 12/22/2016, it was discovered that approximately 1,020 people were identified as potentially having some of their personal information compromised.  This prompted the DPS to notify these individuals so that they can take appropriate steps to minimize their risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

On December 30, 2016, an employee of the Division of Statewide Services was arrested for criminal theft from the office.  During the execution of search warrants of the employee’s property, the investigation revealed that the employee removed several records from the office to include documents containing personal information displaying social security numbers.  The records included a number of individuals who completed transactions with DPS between 02/04/16 and 12/30/16.

At this time, DPS has no evidence to suggest there has been any misuse of this information.  However, individuals are encouraged to take precautions to guard against the misuse of personal information that could result in identity theft.

If a person who received a notification through the mail concerning their transaction(s), or that provided personal information to DPS, during this time frame, has questions pertaining to a submitted background check or whether or not their data was part of the thefts, they can contact the Department of Public Safety, Division of Statewide Services, Criminal Records & Identification Bureau at: 907-269-5634.

Link to the original release for the Burglary/Theft/Criminal Mischief posted on the Daily Dispatches webpage: https://dps.alaska.gov/dailydispatch/AK16091967

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