Troopers arrest 8 wanted fugitives during warrant roundup in Western Alaska


Alaska State Troopers arrested eight people wanted on active warrants in three Western Alaska villages on Wednesday, flying them out on a chartered flight.

A trooper dispatch posted earlier this week reported the "area warrant roundup" resulted in the apprehension of two people in Saint Marys, one person in Pitkas Point and five people in Mountain Village.

Eight arrests is around the maximum carried out during a single trip to the region's villages, but AST Lt. Lonnie Gonzales said the trips are common.

"Logistics is one of our biggest hurdles," Gonzales said. "Typically, if a trooper plans to go to multiple villages, we pull all the paperwork and warrants, and conduct follow-up investigations while we're out there. We try and do it all at once because of cost."

Troopers chartered a private flight for the roundup because the agency's Cessna Caravan that can seat about 10 people is undergoing maintenance, Gonzales said.

There are no grants or extra resources that pay for the blanket operation, according to the lieutenant.

"This is just us trying to be as efficient as we can in Western Alaska," he said.

The dispatch says the most serious warrant was for 28-year-old Arnold Agwiak, a Mountain Village resident. Agwiak was arrested on three separate warrants that included multiple charges of sexual assault and assault.

The remaining "captured fugitives" were arrested for charges like failing to show up to court, violating domestic violence protective orders and breaking felony probation conditions, troopers said. They were all taken to the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel.

"A warrant is an order from the court, and it directs us to go arrest these folks. As we get them, we try and serve them as quickly as we can," Gonzales said.

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