Watch CBSN Live

Trooper: Politics Held Up Drug Case Involving Levi Johnson's Mother

(AP Photo/Al Grillo)
Last month, 42-year-old Sherry Johnston of Wasilla, Alaska was arrested and charged with selling OxyContin, a prescription painkiller. Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnson, the young man who just had a baby with Bristol Palin, the daughter of 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Now an Alaska trooper is alleging that the investigation and arrest of Johnson was delayed for political purposes.

"[A]s soon as investigators realized who the target was...this case became anything but normal," Kyle Young wrote in an email to the union that represents troopers and other Alaska law enforcement officials.

"It was not allowed to progress in a normal fashion, the search warrant service WAS delayed because of the pending election and the [regional] Drug Unit and the case officer were not the ones calling the shots," he continued. (You can read the whole email, in PDF form, here.)

As the Anchorage Daily News reports, Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Joe Masters and troopers director Col. Audie Holloway dispute the claim.

"We worked very hard to make sure we conducted it just as fairly and as normally as any other investigation," Holloway said.

The union's executive director, John Cyr, told the Daily News that the handling of the case "really does smack of political favoritism."

"And if that be the case, it's another example of the Palin administration's direct influence on the public safety unit," he added – an apparent reference to the so called "Troopergate" case involving charges that Palin and her family applied pressure to get a state trooper fired for personal reasons.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue