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

Courtesy photo / Juneau Raptor Center
This golden eagle was rescued by the Juneau Raptor Center over the summer after being found weak and thin.
Rescue center, birdwatchers look back on 2021

Juneau Christmas bird count was way down this year.

This satellite image taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), shows an undersea volcano eruption at the Pacific nation of Tonga Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (NICT via AP)
Tsunami advisory issued after eruption

An undersea volcano erupted Friday near the South Pacific island of Tonga, triggering concerns of damaging waves across Pacific coastlines

Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Multiple public works projects underway in Soldotna

Soldotna City Council received an update on eight different projects

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Hospitalizations rise as state reports increase in COVID cases

There were a total of 112 COVID-related hospitalizations in Alaska as of Friday

Terri Carter’s class celebrates the National Blue Ribbon award after their assembly at Soldotna Montessori Charter School on Friday, Jan 14, 2022. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
A ‘pathway to a brighter and fulfilling future’

Soldotna Montessori Charter School celebrates national achievement

Homer City Council member Rachel Lord discusses her concerns with funding the Alaska Small Business Development Center Homer Business Advisory position during the Jan. 10 council meeting. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Council says ‘yes to small businesses’

Homer City Council votes 4-2 in favor of partially funding the Homer Business Advisory position.

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
Sightseeing buses and tourists are seen at a pullout popular for taking in views of North America’s tallest peak, Denali, in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, on Aug. 26, 2016.
Bridge proposed along section of slumping Denali park road

Landslides in the area go back decades but usually required maintenance every two to three years

A sign directs voters at Soldotna City Hall on March 5, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Locals to join national voting rights march Saturday

The march in Soldotna is part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Action

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna approves $32,000 federal grant for airport

The funds were made available through the American Rescue Plan Act for improvement projects at the Soldotna Municipal Airport

Most Read