Swift child-predator busts show Troopers back governor’s ‘get tough on crime’ words



“If you are a criminal, this is going to be a very dangerous place for you, starting now. I strongly suggest you get out while you can. No more coddling, no more excuses.  Your days are over.”

When Gov. Michael Dunleavy said those words in his State of the State speech on Jan. 22, he wasn’t just channeling Clint Eastwood.

Ten days later, three men who sexually abused minors were taken into custody in Western Alaska after being arrested  in three different communities.

One arrest was the result of a months-long investigation, but the other two arrests happened relatively quickly after the men’s perversions against children were reported by rural residents — a shift to swifter justice, as promised Dunleavy.

On Thursday, Devin Darrough,  a 56-year-old Dillingham man, was indicted after an investigation into his sexual abuse of two children multiple times.

Troopers received a report of his abuse in July. Both of the children were under the age of 13. His arrest was for two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

Darrough during that time period was the corrections sergeant at the Dillingham Contract Jail. He is now housed in that jail, with no bond. Dillingham Police assisted in the arrest.

On Friday, Timothy Fisher, a 47-year-old Kwethluk man, was arrested and taken into custody in the village of Napaskiak. Troopers transported him to the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center.

Back on Dec. 13,  a concerned Kwethluk citizen reported to a village police officer that a young child was sexually abused by Fisher.

By Jan. 31, 2019, a grand jury indicted Fisher on charges of four counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, incest and indecent exposure.

The arrest came just six weeks after the initial report.

Troopers also arrested Jeffrey Phillip, 33, of Kwigillingok, after a jury in Bethel indicted him for sexual abuse of a minor since the child was 11 years old.

Phillip was a tribal police officer when the alleged abuses occurred, and he took secret nude photos of the victim and sent the victim photos of his own genitalia, according to the Trooper report. Phillip is held in the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel on four counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, two counts of third degree sexual abuse of a minor, one count of incest, and one count of indecent exposure.

The initial report on Phillips’ crimes was made to state authorities on Dec. 27, 2018. The investigation and arrest took just one month.

Instead of allowing investigations to drag on, hoping to gather everything possible to prosecute, State Troopers are now getting the best information they can and getting the arrest made, and perpetrators off the streets.

The Department of Public Safety has also made numerous large and midsize drug busts for substances coming into small communities, according to a person close to the department.

“The word needs to get out. We’re taking action and arresting.”

During his remarks last month, Dunleavy told Alaskans, “But to the criminals, and to the rapists and molesters who see women and children as nothing more than opportunities, I say this to you: We will do everything in our power to stop you, apprehend you, and put you in prison for a very long time.”

This month, it appears the new sheriff is, indeed, in town. And in rural Alaska.


  1. Would like to see Niki Tshibaka drill down on this more in his new role. Gov. Dunleavy knows the score.

  2. This is an example of great work done by the professional people who work for the Department of Public Safety. It is not the work of a politician. While I’m glad the Governor supports public safety, he is not the sheriff in any town. The are piles of similar cases that were documented over the last decades. You loose credibility when you cheer the Governor for what is actually the work of regular state employees.

  3. Mike T, the culture of law enforcement, whether it is permissive and lax, or strict, fair and a force to reckoned with, begins at the top. In this case, the top is the governor. There is no need for law enforcement to act effectively if the prosecutors are hamstrung with ineffective policy. There is no need for prosecutors to act effectively if the administration lacks the will to support them. The administration can only possess a will to combat crime if the governor sets it as a priority.

    General Patton was our most effective general. If one of his officers or soldiers were lost, his command was still the most effective. If he were lost, his entire army would cease being the most effective.

  4. Correlation is not causation. Would you be singing the same praises if these arrests had been made under the Walker administration, which they almost certainly would have?

  5. Right on Wayne Coogan!!

    Our new Governor has created an entirely different atmosphere within the Department of Public Safety.

  6. Thank you Gov. Dunleavy, all men and women of law enforcement and agencies involved in putting these sick and disgusting predators away. They deserve the maximum punishment. Thanks for making Alaska a safer place. Former Gov. Walker failed us on this.

Comments are closed.