Suspect search lands 2 in jail

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2005

The search for a 44-year-old woman, suspected of robbing Hooks and Ladder Pull Tabs in Soldotna on Sunday unexpectedly led to a second arrest in a marijuana grow case in Kasilof on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Bureau of Investigation in Soldotna arrested Betty Lopez, 44, of Kasilof, at a residence in Clam Gulch. An investigation identified Lopez as the suspect in the robbery, in which the suspect allegedly brandished a gun and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

But on Wednesday, the day before Lopez’s arrest, Soldotna ABI investigators and Department of Corrections probation officers visited Benjamin Brookshire’s residence in Kasilof in an attempt to locate Lopez, a visit resulting in Brookshire’s arrest.

Police found marijuana in a room built under Brookshire’s residence. Authorities returned with a search warrant and seized 52 marijuana plants in three stages of growth along with about 4 ounces of processed marijuana, an electronic scale, packaging material, grow equipment, and a .44 revolver and several boxes of ammunition.

Lopez was found and taken into custody the next morning on two outstanding warrants; a felony warrant from July 2003 for fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, stemming from a marijuana grow case, and a warrant from September 2003 for fourth-degree theft, where she allegedly stole a bottle of tequila from the Kasilof Riverview Liquor Store.

Troopers received a Crime Stoppers tip about Lopez’s location Thursday, which led to her arrest. She was taken to Wildwood Correctional Center for the outstanding warrants. Robbery charges will be presented to a grand jury.

Brookshire was arrested for a probation violation and taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility. Felony charges for the marijuana grow and firearm possession will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office.



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