Text sent to cop by mistake results in drug bust

A text message sent by mistake to Homer Police Sgt. Ryan Browning resulted in the indictment of three Homer residents on drug and gun charges. In an indictment on March 27, a Kenai grand jury made these charges, all felonies:

• Julian R. Stowe, 25, second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

• Courtney James M. Smith, 23, second-degree misconduct involving weapons, two counts; second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance; third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.

• Eric N. Haughey, 40, second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, two counts; second-degree misconducting involving weapons, two counts; third-degree misconduct involving weapons.

In charging documents, Browning wrote that on March 9 he had texted Stowe seeking information on a wanted suspect. On March 21, Stowe, apparently thinking he was another Ryan, sent Browning a text reading “I have ‘go’ I need to get rid of please if you know of anyone looking I really need the money right now Ryan … thanks hun.”

Browning wrote that he knew “go” was slang for “methamphetamines.” He replied to Stowe and wrote that he set up a deal later that day to meet her at Bishop’s Beach. Stowe later changed the meeting place to behind the bathrooms at Ben Walters Park.

Browning and Officer Larry Baxter responded in a patrol vehicle and found Stowe in the car with Haughey in the passenger seat and Smith driving. Police arrested Stowe.

Browning said Smith told him they moved the location for the alleged drug deal because Bishop’s Beach is known as “Felony Flats” because anyone who goes there gets arrested.

Browning said Baxter saw a semi-automatic .40-caliber Smith &Wesson pistol in the car near the steering column. Police removed the suspects and impounded the car. After getting a search warrant, police found a .38-special near the front passenger seat, another Smith &Wesson semi-automatic pistol in a backpack and a pistol-grip .12-gauge shotgun.

Smith was charged with weapons misconduct for possessing a firearm during a drug deal and Haughey was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Police arrested Smith and Haughey on March 23 at their Kachemak Drive home.

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