Soldotna man arraigned following Spice bust

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that William Dooley was present at Tobacco Distress in October when Alaska State Troopers originally investigated it, not in December when around 6,000 packets of Spice were seized. 


A Soldotna man has been arraigned and his bail has been set after local tobacco shop was busted for selling synthetic marijuana, or Spice, containing illegal components.

William Dooley, 27, was an employee at Tobacco Distress, a local shop where members of the Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit — under the Alaska State Troopers — seized more than 6,000 packets of the drug last month. He was arraigned in Kenai Superior Court on Tuesday. According to Courtview, Dooley faces 30 charges, including third and fourth-degree misconduct involved a controlled substance, misconduct involving a weapon in the second degree and resisting arrest.

According to Courtview, the charges stem from a preliminary investigation the Drug Enforcement Unit conducted in October, during which they found 146 out of 518 packets of suspected Spice from the shop tested positive for illegal components. Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran also noted during the hearing that misdemeanors are being added to the case.

Dooley’s defense attorney, William Walton, entered not-guilty pleas for all counts on Dooley’s behalf. His bail was set at a $2,500 cash performance bond. Terms of his bail also require that he not possess any drugs or drug paraphernalia.

“My client’s just a part-time employee there — or was,” Walton said during the hearing.

He went on to say Dooley has submitted his notice to the tobacco shop in the wake of the case.

According to a trooper affidavit written about the drug bust, Dooley told investigators on the day they visited Tobacco Distress in October that he was under the impression the strands of Spice in the store were legal.

“Dooley provided Investigator Russell with a packet of paper that indicated these smoke blends were legal,” Investigator Levi Russell with the troopers wrote in the affidavit.

Dooley’s next court date is set for Feb. 22.

For both Tobacco Distress owner Phillip Kneeland and his wife, Loren Kneeland, each of their $5,000 cash performance bonds were posted on Jan. 4, according to Courtview. Their next court dates are set for Jan. 19, when they will be arraigned in Superior Court.


Reach Megan Pacer at

More in News

The Kenai Courthouse is seen on Monday, July 3, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Grand jury adds charges in October killing of Homer woman

The indictment was delivered on Nov. 8

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Anchorage resident arrested in Nikiski after troopers investigate reports of stolen vehicle

Troopers responded to a residential address in Nikiski around 11:30 a.m. after being notified by Sirius XM that a stolen vehicle was there

Santa Claus greets Hudson Reinhardt during Christmas Comes to Kenai festivities at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Getting into the holiday spirit

Christmas arrives in Kenai with fireworks, Santa and a lot of rain

Kinley Ferguson tells Santa Claus what she wants for Christmas during Christmas in the Park festivities on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Creating a winter wonderland

Christmas in the Park to bring Santa, sleigh rides, fireworks on Saturday

Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to repair failed wastewater pipe

The pipe to be repaired discharges treated effluent into the Kenai River

The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna is seen here on June 1. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough gets $243k for emergency management work

The program is offered by the Federal Emergency Management Area in order to help states and other emergency management agencies implement the National Preparedness System

A mock-up of a new community health center to be located on First Avenue in Seward. (Illustration via City of Seward)
Seward council backs pursuit of funds by clinic for new facility

Members of the Seward City Council on Monday backed efforts by the… Continue reading

Jesse Lamm, Coltin Yancey and Chef Stephen Lamm plate and serve the Thanksgiving meal at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘A day to be thankful’

Thanksgiving at the food bank is a community celebration

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, speaks to attendees at a town hall event on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman talks energy security, school funding at Nikiski town hall

A large portion of the discussion during Monday’s town hall focused on the pending shortage of natural gas resources in Cook Inlet

Most Read