ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Village police officers in the Lower Yukon River village of Emmonak have made one of the biggest alcohol busts in recent memory, Alaska State Troopers said.
Troopers say village officers seized about 400 bottles of alcohol and more than $11,000 in cash from The Family Restaurant earlier this month.
Operators of the restaurant, Chan Sik Chun and Chan Soo Chun, have been charged with felony importation, possession and sales of alcohol, said Daryl Schierholt, acting village police supervisor. Emmonak is a dry village, where possession, sale and importation of liquor is illegal.
Hans Brinke, sergeant supervisor for the troopers' Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotic Team, called the bust ''substantial.''
''This is probably the biggest one we've had in a long time,'' he said.
Brinke credited the officers in Emmonak for the alcohol bust. ''They're dedicated to their jobs,'' Brinke said. ''They're always willing to step up to the plate. And in this particular case they did an awesome job.''
The street price of a bottle of booze in Emmonak is about $150. Schierholt said the large-scale shipment was smuggled into the village via bypass mail, a program whereby the U.S. Postal Service pays air carriers to deliver shipments weighing at least 1,000 pounds to rural Alaska.
Bypass mail is used mostly by businesses shipping soda, canned goods, diapers and other groceries. The shipments go directly to the carriers, physically bypassing the post office, hence the program's name.
The Chuns ''shipped a large quantity of supplies out to the restaurant at once,'' Schierholt said. ''It was missed. That happens.''
Alcohol is smuggled into dry villages in just about every way possible, Brinke said. ''Whatever your imagination can come up with, it's been tried.''
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