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Studded Tire Deadline Temporarily Suspended

Joint Base Richardson-Elmondorf, Alaska - To ease the financial burden of Alaskans and to assist with preventing the spread of COVID-19, Governor Dunleavy suspended AS 28.35.155(a), the statute referencing the studded tire usage, until May 11.  Though there is an inherent risk in conducting non-urgent business and transactions, auto-repair facilities are considered essential businesses and are permitted to remain open and provide studded tire removal services, if they choose.

“Protection of public health is critical at this time which is why it is necessary to abide by the issued health mandates,” said Commissioner Amanda Price, Department of Public Safety. “It is our hope to flatten the curve by keeping people in quarantine and not traveling for non-critical reasons. We will get through this together by looking for practical solutions to our current situations.”

“Studded snow tires cause additional wear and tear on paved roads, but we know there are significantly fewer Alaskans on the roads right now,” said Commissioner John MacKinnon, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. “Alaskans are observing mandates restricting nonessential travel and they are staying home. We appreciate that the studded tire deadline is pushed back, this is one less thing for people to worry about at this time.”

The Departments of Public Safety and Transportation & Public Facilities would like to thank all Alaskans for their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. We sincerely appreciate those that are following the health mandates and guidelines that have been issued.

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Operation Southern Exposure Nets Pornography Charges

March 12, 2020 (ANCHORAGE) – Yesterday, a Kenai Grand Jury returned a true bill against two men from the Kenai Peninsula on multiple charges relating to possession and distribution of child pornography. A third man was also arrested and charged but is yet to be indicted. The charges came as a result of Operation Southern Exposure. 

In late February, the Alaska State Troopers’ Technical Crimes Unit (TCU) executed a series of search warrants, as part of Operation Southern Exposure. Over a few months prior, the TCU initiated multiple investigations into the distribution and possession of child pornography within the Kenai Peninsula.  The TCU enlisted the assistance of the Anchorage Police Department (APD) Cyber Crimes Unit (CCU). Together, AST and APD executed 24 warrants on eight locations and multiple individuals.  The following individuals are now facing charges alleged in three separate court cases:

·         Dillon Pogue, 43, of Nikiski, is indicted on charges of Distribution of Child Pornography, Possession of Child Pornography, and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

·         Will Rogers, 21, of Soldotna, is indicted on a charge of Possession of Child Pornography.

·         Joel Consiel, 31, of Kenai, is charged with Possession of Child Pornography. 

Forensic examinations of Joel Consiel’s electronic devices uncovered images taken from his phone of an unknown female who could potentially be a child victim of sexual abuse.  Any information regarding these photos or Mr. Consiel should be forwarded to the Alaska State Troopers.

Numerous electronic devices were seized during Operation Southern Exposure and many are still under examination in TCU’s forensic laboratory in Anchorage.  Further examinations may lead to indictments of additional suspects.

“I am grateful to our incredible trooper investigators and investigators with the Anchorage Police Department that took time away from their families in order to bring this investigation to where it is today. I am proud of the talent and dedication they provide to the citizens of Alaska,” said Commissioner Amanda Price, Department of Public Safety. “Under Governor Dunleavy’s Administration, operations targeting possession or distribution of child pornography will continue to be prioritized in order to make Alaska safer for our families and communities.”

“This is an excellent example of the daily partnership between APD, AST, KPD, NSBPD, and all of our ICAC partners statewide,” said Chief Justin Doll, Anchorage Police Department. “We are constantly working together as a team to keep all of Alaska safe.”

Operation Southern Exposure is the product of an investigation led by the AST’s TCU working closely with APD’s CCU as affiliates of the Alaska Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.  The Alaska ICAC is part of the National ICAC which is a network of sixty-one (61) coordinated task forces representing over 4,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies.  These agencies are continually engaged in proactive and reactive investigations and prosecutions of persons involved in child abuse and exploitation involving the internet.

The operation received substantial assistance provided by the Anchorage Airport Interdiction Team (an AST-led drug interdiction task force), Soldotna AST’s Patrol and General Investigation Unit, the Kenai Police Department (KPD), and the North Slope Borough Police Department (NSBPD). These cases are being prosecuted out of the Alaska Attorney General’s Office of Special Prosecutions. 

These charges are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

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CDVSA Awards new Community Grant Funding to Enhance Services for Victims of Crime

February 5, 2020 JUNEAU, Alaska – The Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault recently awarded new community grant funds to seventeen (17) Alaska agencies to provide enhanced services to victims of domestic and sexual violence and underserved victims of other violent crimes.   The funding awards are for 29-months beginning February 1 equaling $7.5 million in community grants over the life of the awards.
 
The Enhanced Services for Victims of Crime grant program is a new funding opportunity focused on areas of service not specifically funded by CDVSA in the past but identified as critical needs across Alaska.  All funding comes from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal formula grant that CDVSA receives each year.  Funding categories for the Enhanced Services grant program are child advocacy centers, legal advocacy services, and mental health services for children and youth who are victims or witness to violent interpersonal crimes.   
 
“We are excited to offer funding for these three service areas that have received limited funding or been unfunded by CDVSA in the past,” said CDVSA Executive Director L. Diane Casto.  “Funding to provide healing services to children and youth impacted by interpersonal violence has been a CDVSA goal for several years.  Additionally, increased funding for legal advocacy services to victims of domestic and sexual violence is a critical service that most victims of crime need and often do not have access to—these awards will improve services in these critical areas across Alaska.”
 
Funds are being awarded to the following agencies/communities—please note that many of the funded agencies provide services to a much larger service area than indicated by the agency location:
 
Child Advocacy Centers:
  • Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, Dillingham
  • Catholic Community Service S.A.F.E., Juneau
  • Copper River Basin CAC, Gakona
  • Maniilaq Family Crisis Center, Kotzebue
  • Providence Alaska Cares, Anchorage
  • Resource Center for Parents and Children, Stevie’s Place, Fairbanks
  • The Children’s Place, Wasilla
  • Tundra Women’s Coalition, Bethel
 
Legal Advocacy Services:
  • Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, statewide
  • Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies, Juneau
  • Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living, Fairbanks
 
Mental Health Services for children and youth impacted by violence:
  • Anchorage Community Mental Health Service, Anchorage
  • The LeeShore Center, Kenai
  • Standing Together Against Rape, Anchorage/statewide
  • Tanana Chiefs Conference, Fairbanks
  • Volunteers of America, Anchorage/statewide
  • Women in Safe Homes, Ketchikan
 
“On behalf of the Council board, I would like to thank all the applicants for their time and effort to apply for these funds,” said Interim Board Chair Teresa Lowe.  “Congratulations to the successful recipients who are receiving a portion of these funds.   As we know, there are many critical need service areas that will be expanded and enhanced with these grant awards. We look forward to following the activities and outcomes of each grantee as they provide these valuable and important services to people across the state of Alaska.“
 
The announcement of these grant awards comes during the February start of Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month here in Alaska, as well as nationally.  A Proclamation by Governor Mike Dunleavy was issue yesterday and is available at:  https://gov.alaska.gov/newsroom/2020/02/04/teen-dating-violence-awareness-and-prevention-month-2/
 
The Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault's mission is to provide safety for Alaskans victimized or impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and underserved victims of other crime. The Council is responsible for providing Alaska with a system of statewide crisis intervention, advocacy and support services for all Alaskan’s impacted by interpersonal violence.  Other areas of focus are services to promote perpetrator accountability, and community-based prevention programming.
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