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Local woman sentenced on drug charges

Daily News Staff Writer

Sara Skan, 39, of Ketchikan was sentenced Tuesday in Ketchikan Superior Court to three years in prison, two years suspended, on drug charges.

Skan pled guilty to one count of attempted misconduct involving illicit substances in the second degree — a Class C felony. Presiding Superior Court Judge William Carey said as part of the plea Skan acknowledged the conduct in half a dozen other district court cases that were dismissed.

This is Skan’s second felony conviction in five years.

Skan was arrested in early April after making several attempts to pick up nearly 30 grams of meth from the post office.

At the time of her arrest, Skan told police she assisted Lawrence Jones, 33, in arranging for the parcel's shipment to Ketchikan.

Jones was sentenced to two years in prison, with no time suspended, on Oct. 9.

Jones, a shipyard worker from Louisiana, pled guilty of the same charge as Skan. Jones came to Alaska while he was on parole in Louisiana. Authorities in Louisiana extradited Jones after his conviction.

On Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Kristian Pickrell said Skan had been involved with drugs since she was 12 years old.

"If she wants to succeed, and not be back in this court," said Pickrell, "inpatient treatment is her only chance at success at this point."

Pickrell said that Skan had been caught on numerous occasions transporting large amounts of illicit substances.

Carey brought up a criminal charge from 1998 involving LSD.

“That’s now over 20 years ago. So she was a teenager at the time,” said Carey. He said since that time she’s become increasingly involved with meth.

“Here we are now, on the second serious felony in the last five years,” said Carey.

The previous felony conviction came in January 2015.

Skan and another Ketchikan resident, Robert D. Moriarty, were arrested Jan. 28, 2015 after getting off a plane from Seattle. Police found 141.8 grams — nearly one half pound — of meth, and 126.3 grams of heroin, about $200,000 in drugs at the time, according to then Ketchikan Police Department Sgt. Eric Mattson.

Skan had two plastic bags in her backpack that contained 53.5 grams of methamphetamine and 50.7 grams of heroin, according to the criminal complaint against her.

Carey said that the FBI and other federal agencies were involved in the 2015 case.

"Feds don’t take those kind of cases unless they are quite serious," said Carey, "the amounts involved in that case were quite substantial."

Carey said Skan hasn’t been able to change her behavior.

Carey summarized some of her work experience as detailed in the pre-sentencing report. Skan was employed as an art teacher in West Seattle, a technician at a technological company in Washington, completed three years of college, and managed the Saxman Community Center.

“So she’s an intelligent person, she has skills that she’s been able to apply at different times,” said Carey, “But the fact is that her involvement in methamphetamines just killed all of that.”

Carey mentioned that she had four kids, and surmised that they probably didn’t get as much attention as they should have or could have.

“Their mom was missing for some of that time — well, she’s in jail,” said Carey, “She’s back involved with people like Mr. Jones.”

During court Tuesday, Skan confirmed that she’s been involved with drugs since she was12. She said she was actively seeking treatment and that she was going to be 40 in July.

“My kids are getting older, and it’s time for me to be in their lives," Skan said.

Skan is eligible for good time, which could reduce her one year sentence by one-third. After release, Skan will be on probation for three years. If she violates conditions of her probation, such as being in bars, the suspended time could be imposed.

Carey said he would save the lecture, saying Skan is well aware of the harm methamphetamines have done to the Ketchikan community.

“This is probably about it,” said Carey, “She's now pushing 40 years old and if it can't change now, it's just not going to.”