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Crime

Stories involving criminal activities.

The state of Alaska courthouse in Bethel, Alaska.
Dean Swope/KYUK

There’s a new judge in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and he’s one of the youngest in Alaska’s history.

The first thing that Judge Eugene Landlord does is listen. He watches his clients’ body language. There’s a certain look in their eyes that he tries to keep track of. If they seem depressed or at risk of harming themselves, he gives them his phone number.


The owner of Bethel’s Tundra Suites hotel was charged with Medicaid fraud in June 2018.
Teresa Cotsirilos/KYUK

The owner of Bethel’s Tundra Suites hotel has been charged with Medicaid fraud.

Calls about public intoxication slowed down in the weeks after AC Quickstop Liquor store closed.
KYUK

Bethel became a different town after the AC Quickstop liquor store opened in 2016. Police and emergency services reported strained resources and higher calls for public intoxication. Residents say that Pinky’s Park was littered with broken glass and passed out people, but much of that has changed since the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board refused to renew AC's liquor license in May and the store abruptly shut down. 

Russian Mission saw one of its worst spate of runway vandalism in April.
Jim Duffy

The Alaska Department of Transportation has a problem: it’s hard to keep people from breaking runway lights in rural airports, especially in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The state is trying to mitigate this through a series of public service announcements, posters on bulletin boards, and outreach to villages, as the lack of working runway lights can keep flights from landing.  


A Village Police Officer has been arrested in Mountain Village for tampering with evidence in a high-stakes murder case. John Hunter, age 22, is accused of stealing a cellphone from the victim’s body at the crime scene. The alleged theft could complicate a particularly brutal homicide case, which involves two teenagers and a robbery gone wrong.


A teenager in the village of Kotlik allegedly armed himself with a butcher knife last Friday and tried to force his way into the village school. He is accused of stabbing his sister and another community member when they tried to wrestle the knife away from him, and his original target may have been the school’s principal.


It’s been five months since KYUK reported on the limitations in Bethel’s 911 system, and some of those issues still have not been addressed. If you call 911 from a cellphone, dispatchers still won’t be able to track where you are.

Bethel court supervisor Crystal Garrison poses next to her painting of Judge Nora Guinn. Garrison recently received the Judge Nora Guinn award for her work as a Yup'ik interpreter.
Teresa Cotsirilos/KYUK

The criminal justice system can be intimidating for English-as-a-second-language speakers. The stakes are high, the hearings take hours, and it can be hard to understand what’s going on. Luckily, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta has Crystal Garrison in its corner. She became the Alaska Court System’s first certified Yup'ik interpreter in 2016, and just received a prestigious award for her work.


People in the Western Alaska community of Mountain Village are struggling to recover after a brutal homicide involving teenagers last week.

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