UAF Catholic Priest arrested on drugs, weapons charges

  • By Associated Press
  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:55pm
  • News

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest who serves the University of Alaska Fairbanks was spotted driving into the oncoming lane of the Parks Highway and charged with driving under the influence, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Father Sean P. Thomson, 52, is also charged with misdemeanor weapons and drug counts.

Thomson remains a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks, said Ronnie Rosenberg, legal coordinator and director of human resources for the diocese. Thomson has been placed on administrative leave, Rosenberg said.

Thomson pleaded not guilty at arraignment. He is free on $5,000 bail. According to a criminal complaint, a trooper on Monday stopped Thomson at Mile 228 Parks Highway near McKinley Village about 134 miles south of Fairbanks.

The complaint filed by Trooper Christopher Bitz said the officer noticed a blue pickup speeding at 79 mph in a 65-mph zone. The truck was weaving and had crossed the centerline, Bitz said.

Bitz said Thomson seemed disoriented. The officer asked for his vehicle registration and Thomson instead handed him a receipt. Bitz asked if he was carrying any weapons, the complaint said.

Thomson reported a .357-caliber handgun in the back seat but not a 9mm pistol he carried in his back pocket, Bitz said. Another pocket revealed a bag with a small quantity of marijuana, Bitz said.

Thomson blew into a hand-held breath alcohol test machine and it recorded a breath-alcohol content of .247 percent, Bitz said. The legal standard for intoxication is .08 percent.

At the Healy trooper post, Thomson refused to take a second breath analysis test with equipment considered to be more accurate because, “(he) said he was drunk and did not feel the test was necessary,” Bitz wrote.

Thomson was charged with DUI, refusal to take a chemical alcohol test and drugs misconduct. He also was charged with possession of a firearm while intoxicated and failing to immediately inform troopers he was carrying a firearm.

More in News

A moose is photographed in Kalifornsky, Alaska, in July 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Illegal moose harvest down from past 5 years

The large majority of moose this year were harvested from North and South Kasilof River areas.

Renee Behymer and Katelyn Behymer (right) of Anchorage win this week’s vaccine lottery college scholarship sweepstakes. (Photo provided)
Dillingham and Anchorage residents win 6th vaccine lottery

“Get it done,” one winner said. “Protect us all, protect our elders and our grandchildren.”

Kenai Vice Mayor and council member Bob Molloy (center), council member Jim Glendening (right), council member Victoria Askin (far right), and council member Henry Knackstedt (far left) participate in a work session discussing the overhaul of Kenai election codes on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska.
Kenai City Council gives sendoffs, certifies election results

Both council members-elect — Deborah Sounart and James Baisden — attended Wednesday.

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. (CDC)
COVID is No. 3 underlying cause of death among Alaskans so far this year

The virus accounted for about 7.5% of all underlying causes of death after a review of death certificates.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives during a floor debate on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, over an appropriations bill during the Legislature’s third special session of the summer. Multiple organizations reported on Wednesday that Eastman is a lifetime member of the far-right organization the Oath Keepers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Data leak shows state rep is member of far-right organization

Wasilla area lawmaker said he joined when Oath Keepers first started.

Christine Hutchison, who lives in Kenai and also serves on the Kenai Harbor Commission, testifies in support of the use of alternative treatments for COVID-19 during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Medical liberty’ petition brought to Kenai City Council

Some members of the public and Kenai City Council spoke against health mandates and in support of alternative treatments for COVID-19

Amber Kraxberger-Linson, a member of Trout Unlimited and streamwatch coordinator for the Chugach National Forest, works in the field in this undated photo. Kraxberger-Linson will be discussing at the Saturday, Oct. 23 International Fly Fishing Film Festival the organization’s educational programming for next summer. (Photo provided by Trout Unlimited)
Out on the water — and on the screen

Trout Unlimited to host fly fishing film festival Saturday.

This screen capture from surveillance footage released by the Anchorage Police Department shows a masked man vandalizing the Alaska Jewish Museum in Anchorage in May. (Courtesy photo / APD)
Museums statewide condemn antisemitic vandalism

Two incidents, one in May, one in September, have marred the museum this year.

Three speech language pathologists with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District were recognized for excellence during the Alaska Speech-Language-Hearing Association last month. (Kenai Peninsula Borough School District)
Peninsula speech language therapists awarded for excellence

“I was very honored to be recognized by my peers and colleagues,” Evans said in an interview with the Clarion.

Most Read