The U.S. Attorney in Anchorage on Friday announced an arrest in the double murder at the Communications Station at Coast Guard Base Kodiak nearly a year ago.
James Michael “Jim” Wells, long considered the prime suspect by the FBI, was taken into custody by members of the Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Alaska State Troopers.
On April 12, 2012, U.S. Coast Guard Electrician’s Mate First Class James Hopkins and retired Chief Boatswain’s Mate Richard Belisle were found shot to death in one of the buildings at the communications station by coworkers. Belisle was working for the Coast Guard as a civilian contractor at the time. Wells was also employed at the communications station.
FBI spokesman Eric Gonzales said Wells’ arrest came after an officer filed a criminal complaint and a federal arrest warrant was issued. Gonzales said the complaint, or affidavit, will remain sealed until Wells appears in court, which is expected sometime next week in Anchorage. That means the underlying details and facts leading up to the arrest remain confidential. Gonzales did not say what the motive in the killings might have been.
The arrest came after 10 months of investigation led by the FBI and the Coast Guard Investigative Service, along with the Alaska State Troopers.
- Billy Adams, a hunter in his 50s, says that when he was growing up in Utqiagvik, there was almost always ice attached to the shore by now.
- The village, about 40 miles from Kotzebue, is where his wife Rose Dunleavy is from.
- Federal prosecutors say the U.S. Coast Guard spent $384,261 searching for 35-year-old Ryan Meganack after his girlfriend, who was part of the scheme, reported him missing off Port Graham.
- A car reported stolen Friday has been recovered. Twelve cars in the area were reported vandalized. JPD has a possible suspect, believes incidents are connected.