Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 8:48 PM on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

K-9 team finds wanted man hiding in Anchor Point woods

By Michael Armstrong
Staff Writer

An Alaska State Trooper and his K-9 partner, Yukon, found a wanted suspect hiding in the woods in Anchor Point after the man had not returned to prison two days earlier. Richard "Matt" Russell, 32, was charged with violating conditions of release and arrested.

In a press release and court documents, troopers said Russell had been released temporarily from Wildwood Correctional Center from noon to 8 p.m. March 6 to attend a funeral in Anchor Point. Russell was serving a jail sentence for assault and other charges. Russell was to be in the custody of a third-party, not consume alcohol and not be where alcohol was served. About 7 p.m. the custodian reported to troopers that he left her sight and sound. Troopers went to the Anchor River Inn, where a post-funeral reception was held, and a bartender told troopers she had seen Russell there.

On March 8, a trooper went to an Anchor Point home in search of Russell. When the trooper arrived, Russell ran into the woods, troopers alleged. A K-9 trooper and K-9 Yukon were called to the scene and found Russell hiding under a tree.

Troopers also contacted a 26-year-old Wasilla man, Lavrenty Kojin, and found he had an outstanding arrest for failure to report to jail for a driving offense. Russell and Kojin were both taken to the Homer Jail.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.