The primary area of responsibility for the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team (WAANT) includes the Kotzebue, Nome, Bethel, Dillingham, Kodiak, the Aleutian Chain, and their surrounding villages. Due to the vast number of local option communities in Western Alaska, a significant portion of this team's focus is on illegal alcohol enforcement. They target drug traffickers and illegal alcohol bootleggers through undercover operations and interdictions. Alcohol shipped to and/or purchased in regional hubs such as Nome, Bethel, Kotzebue, or Dillingham is then illegally distributed to nearby communities which have voted to restrict alcohol in some manner by banning the importation, sale and/or possession of alcohol under the local option laws of Alaska.
The WAANT unit consists of members of the Alaska State Troopers, Kotzebue Police, Bethel Police, and Kodiak Police. The most common methods of importing illegal alcohol and drugs into rural communities are via the U.S. Postal Service, local airlines, and cargo carriers. Because much of the illegal alcohol and drugs being distributed in rural Alaska are shipped through the U.S. mail, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducts interdictions with direct support from AST. These efforts consist of personnel monitoring packages en route to outlying villages and communities through U.S.Postal facilities in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Bethel, Kotzebue, Nome, and Dillingham. Suspicious packages are brought to the attention of the U.S. Postal Inspectors, who then decide the best course of action to investigate the shipment. Cross deputation of the WAANT investigators by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has been in place since 2007. This cross deputation has given WAANT investigators additional authority when conducting investigations involving U.S. Mail parcels containing alcohol.
Anchorage tip line: (800) 478-3325
Anchorage fax line: (907) 338-7243
Bethel tip line: (800) 478-9112
Bethel fax line: (907) 543-0463
Kotzebue tip line: (800) 789-3222
Kotzebue fax line: (907) 442-3221
Nome tip line: (800) 443-2835
Nome fax line: (907) 443-5840
Kodiak Tip line: (907) 486-3113