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Thread: Fisherman sentenced to probation

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default Fisherman sentenced to probation

    The indictment here. The "penalty" here. I know this doesn't tell the entire story, but this person poached $275,000 worth of fish and received 5 years probation. No mention of retribution, fines, vessel or permit forfeiture. This seems like a very pathetic sentence for someone fishing the wrong area then lying about it on his records; not just the first year of the program, but the second also. Why do I sense that I, a sport fisherman, if caught with OVER ONE AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS of poached fish in my possession over a two year period, would get a much stiffer penalty?

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    ...Why do I sense that I, a sport fisherman, if caught with OVER ONE AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS of poached fish in my possession over a two year period, would get a much stiffer penalty?
    ...Ya think?
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    Default what a deal!

    The commercial fiserman and his crew caught $271,000 worth of illegal fish and all he got was probation - and he apparently got to keep the money to boot! It is no wonder we keep hearing about the willful "fishing out of area" violations by greedy commercial fishermen - it apparently pays big $$$.

    This shows the commercial guys have a lot bigger stroke politially than us sport fishing guys. We can get get fined $100 for failing to record ONE fish on our harvest tag immediately or catching ONE fish over the limit etc. (BTW- I've never been fined: I have no axe to grind)

    I would have fined him at the minimum double the value of the catch. Seizing the boat and gear would have not been out of line IMO.

    I wonder if he claimed to be an Alaskan resident?

    One also has to wonder how widespread this fishing in off limits areas is the commercial fishing industry - are there many more out there that just don't get caught?







    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    The indictment here. The "penalty" here. I know this doesn't tell the entire story, but this person poached $275,000 worth of fish and received 5 years probation. No mention of retribution, fines, vessel or permit forfeiture. This seems like a very pathetic sentence for someone fishing the wrong area then lying about it on his records; not just the first year of the program, but the second also. Why do I sense that I, a sport fisherman, if caught with OVER ONE AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS of poached fish in my possession over a two year period, would get a much stiffer penalty?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The commercial fiserman and his crew caught $271,000 worth of illegal fish and all he got was probation - and he apparently got to keep the money to boot! It is no wonder we keep hearing about the willful "fishing out of area" violations by greedy commercial fishermen - it apparently pays big $$$.

    This shows the commercial guys have a lot bigger stroke politially than us sport fishing guys. We can get get fined $100 for failing to record ONE fish on our harvest tag immediately or catching ONE fish over the limit etc. (BTW- I've never been fined: I have no axe to grind)

    I would have fined him at the minimum double the value of the catch. Seizing the boat and gear would have not been out of line IMO.

    I wonder if he claimed to be an Alaskan resident?

    One also has to wonder how widespread this fishing in off limits areas is the commercial fishing industry - are there many more out there that just don't get caught?
    You act as though commercial fisherman are the only people in the entire country getting off easy. Didn't OJ Simpson get away with murder? Anyone that knows anything about our legal system knows that if you pay a good enough lawyer enough money, you can plead anything down to lesser penalties
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    Lets just wait a second before we think this is not a good sentence. I frankly do not know the circumstances and have enough experience with federal regulations to know they can be hard to follow - especially with boundary lines in the open seas. Here is one example that I personally know. The map prepared by the federal government for a closed area had lines that were translated to miles wide when taken from a map. The inside of the line was a mile or more from the outside of the line on a map distributed by the agencies who monitored the fishery. So it came down to which side of the line does one use for closed waters. A judge ruled the map not appropriate for the fisherman to use and threw the case out. A protection officer had a different view than the judge. So things are not clear cut in these cases.

    Here in UCI we draw lines all the time and had the same problem with enforcement. Before GPS it was hard to enforce a line from two points just based on a map line - salmon fisherman push the line to get the first fish across. In one case we had to take a 1/4 to 1/2 mile violation before a court would consider it a real violation.

    I am just saying there may be more to this case than we know and without the court documents it is premature to judge anyone. Obviously there was a violation since the court ruled that but the cost of that violation may be less because of circumstances we do not know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Lets just wait a second before we think this is not a good sentence. I frankly do not know the circumstances and have enough experience with federal regulations to know they can be hard to follow - especially with boundary lines in the open seas....
    True, we're not privy to all the facts in the case; we don't know exactly where in 630 he fished, but we do know that he allegedly fished in 630 on 4 separate occasions and allegedly falsified his log book to indicate he fished in 640. Apparently, if his defense was that he was very close to the line, on all 4 separate occasions, but not aware of exactly where it was, the Grand Jury didn't buy it. Neither would I.
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    Default certainly not!

    Certainly commercial fishermen aren't the only one in the entire country getting "off easy". As I've suggested a number of times before on various matters, IMO the fines should be double what the gains are and/or what it costs to do things the right way.

    In this case, the comparison was between the minor punisment this commercial fisherman got for illegally catching a massive amount of fish vs. what sportfishermen get fined for catching or one or two fish over limit or other relatively minor infractions. And this case the minor punishment was for willful multiple infractions over a two year period and lying to the govt. And these are the only charges they pinned on him; there were likely a bunch more that were not pursued for lack of sufficent evidence.

    Some other links: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/newsroo...13dojcarr.html

    http://alaska-native-news.com/alaska...t-charges.html (Is Steven a Native?)

    http://deckboss-thebrig.blogspot.com...l-charges.html

    http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska...9bb30f31a.html

    http://www.kmxt.org/index.php?option...=5213&Itemid=2


    And here is one where the perp did get punished: http://kmxtnews2012.wordpress.com/20...enced/#more-75




    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    You act as though commercial fisherman are the only people in the entire country getting off easy. Didn't OJ Simpson get away with murder? Anyone that knows anything about our legal system knows that if you pay a good enough lawyer enough money, you can plead anything down to lesser penalties
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    Certainly commercial fishermen aren't the only one in the entire country getting "off easy". As I've suggested a number of times before on various matters, IMO the fines should be double what the gains are and/or what it costs to do things the right way.

    In this case, the comparison was between the minor punisment this commercial fisherman got for illegally catching a massive amount of fish vs. what sportfishermen get fined for catching or one or two fish over limit or other relatively minor infractions. And this case the minor punishment was for willful multiple infractions over a two year period and lying to the govt. And these are the only charges they pinned on him; there were likely a bunch more that were not pursued for lack of sufficent evidence.

    Some other links: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/newsroo...13dojcarr.html

    http://alaska-native-news.com/alaska...t-charges.html (Is Steven a Native?)

    http://deckboss-thebrig.blogspot.com...l-charges.html

    http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska...9bb30f31a.html

    http://www.kmxt.org/index.php?option...=5213&Itemid=2


    And here is one where the perp did get punished: http://kmxtnews2012.wordpress.com/20...enced/#more-75
    This guys punishment doesn't have anything to do with sportfishing. There are plenty of sportfisherman that get let off with a warning, just like there are many other criminals that basically get let off with just a warning. This is just another attempt for you to smear commercial fishermans reputations
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    Default 761,421 pounds of illegal fish

    This thread was questioning the almost no punishment given to one commercial fisherman that caught a total of 761,421 lbs or over 380 TONS of fish illegally on 4 seperate occasions to the punishment given to sport fishermen that may catch one or two fish illegally and get fined $100 and/or lose their fishing gear. And the commercial fishermen even got to keep his ill gotten gains.

    The contrast in punishment is overwhelming; even if compared to the the sport fisherman that only gets a warning.

    No one suggested that all commercial fishermen do this sort of thing, but I do find the responses from the commerical fishermen and their supporters rather interesting. Not one has had anything bad to say about the commercial perp and his massive illegal deeds, while sport fishermen are generally quick to advocate throwing the book at one of theirs that do an outragous act. Quite interesting at the least.


    Quote Originally Posted by hoose35 View Post
    This guys punishment doesn't have anything to do with sportfishing. There are plenty of sportfisherman that get let off with a warning, just like there are many other criminals that basically get let off with just a warning. This is just another attempt for you to smear commercial fishermans reputations
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    This thread was questioning the almost no punishment given to one commercial fisherman that caught a total of 761,421 lbs or over 380 TONS of fish illegally on 4 seperate occasions to the punishment given to sport fishermen that may catch one or two fish illegally and get fined $100 and/or lose their fishing gear. And the commercial fishermen even got to keep his ill gotten gains.

    The contrast in punishment is overwhelming; even if compared to the the sport fisherman that only gets a warning.

    No one suggested that all commercial fishermen do this sort of thing, but I do find the responses from the commerical fishermen and their supporters rather interesting. Not one has had anything bad to say about the commercial perp and his massive illegal deeds, while sport fishermen are generally quick to advocate throwing the book at one of theirs that do an outragous act. Quite interesting at the least.

    I don't support any criminal in any profession. I would like to see anyone breaking the law get a just punishment. How can you make such a general statement that sport fisherman are generally quick to advocate throwing the book at one of theirs that do an outrageous act? Do you even realize how many sportfisherman are out there breaking the law? And if you do realize how many, what are you doing about it since you are so eager to see them get punished to the max?
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    No... he knew what he was doing and got away with it.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Interesting read if you actually, really want to know....

    http://www.gc.noaa.gov/documents/031...lty_policy.pdf

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    Thanks Akbrownsfan. I just find it interesting that everyone has more knowledge than the judge who made the sentence. TVfink and the whop2000 what information do you have that allows you to reach the conclusion you have? Just a quick question - has anyone read the transcripts of the case or read the Judges ruling? If not jumping to conclusions is just that jumping.

    Also, for the record every fishery has law breakers. In the Kenai River PU fishery a large percentage of people never turn in their harvest records. They have not been prosecuted at all - is that right? However, two wrongs do not make a right so no matter what the other fisheries are doing this individual case needs to be examined on its own merits - which no one has the details to share from what I am reading.

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    Default "indicted by the federal grand jury" and pleaded guilty


    Steven Carr was indicted by the grand jury and pleaded guilty to the charges of "making false records under federal fish and wildlife laws, and making false material statements to a federal government agency". IMO that makes him guilty regardless of who he is or what he does - I am hardly "jumping to conclusions".


    Ir hard to compare catching over 380 TONS of illegal fish on four seprate occasions, deliberately mis-reporting where you fished, and lying to a federal agency to the act of not turning in a dip net record. I don't see how you can even compare the two offenses and keep a straight face!


    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Thanks Akbrownsfan. I just find it interesting that everyone has more knowledge than the judge who made the sentence. TVfink and the whop2000 what information do you have that allows you to reach the conclusion you have? Just a quick question - has anyone read the transcripts of the case or read the Judges ruling? If not jumping to conclusions is just that jumping.

    Also, for the record every fishery has law breakers. In the Kenai River PU fishery a large percentage of people never turn in their harvest records. They have not been prosecuted at all - is that right? However, two wrongs do not make a right so no matter what the other fisheries are doing this individual case needs to be examined on its own merits - which no one has the details to share from what I am reading.
    "
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    TVfinak you certainly are jumping to conclusions. You made a judgement on the fairness of the sentence and have no knowledge of the case at all. In point of fact you are implying the judge was somehow paid off or corrupt to not have a more stiff sentence. On what factual basis do you have to make that claim? Maybe the Judge has a better sense of this case than you -

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Lets just wait a second before we think this is not a good sentence. I frankly do not know the circumstances and have enough experience with federal regulations to know they can be hard to follow - especially with boundary lines in the open seas. Here is one example that I personally know. The map prepared by the federal government for a closed area had lines that were translated to miles wide when taken from a map. The inside of the line was a mile or more from the outside of the line on a map distributed by the agencies who monitored the fishery. So it came down to which side of the line does one use for closed waters. A judge ruled the map not appropriate for the fisherman to use and threw the case out. A protection officer had a different view than the judge. So things are not clear cut in these cases.

    Here in UCI we draw lines all the time and had the same problem with enforcement. Before GPS it was hard to enforce a line from two points just based on a map line - salmon fisherman push the line to get the first fish across. In one case we had to take a 1/4 to 1/2 mile violation before a court would consider it a real violation.

    I am just saying there may be more to this case than we know and without the court documents it is premature to judge anyone. Obviously there was a violation since the court ruled that but the cost of that violation may be less because of circumstances we do not know.
    It is certainly true that we don't know the particulars of this case, Nerka. But you answered my implied question very well. Does a double standard exist in prosecution of commercial fishery violations? You stated that "In one case we had to take a 1/4 to 1/2 mile violation before a court would consider it a real violation." The fisherman in this case crossed a clear line, not once, but 7 times over a two year span, then lied on the record about it. GPS technology in 2007 and 2008 was fine; you knew within a few feet what your location was. There are lines in regulations everywhere; the sport fish and sport hunting books are full of lines. An example of some of the lines in fishing; Can't fish within 100 yards of the dam, within a quarter mile of the confluence of two bodies of water, regulations in the lake are different than in flowing water, which is delineated by a line drawn across the outlet or inlet stream from the two points of lake shore... These are all lines that have very little leeway. Step just a few feet past any of these lines, and you will receive a fine, and possibly more. In hunting, there are boundaries everywhere, too. One very famous case between a federal agency and an Alaskan musher resulted in a fine that was 80% of the maximum allowed, plus restitution. This hunter was 200 yards past the line. He claimed it was a nebulous line, difficult to determine on the NPS website. Their response was that
    "As a responsible hunter, it was up to King to know where the park boundary was located, whether it was marked or not." If there was not a double standard being applied to the commercial fisherman in this case, the same statement would hold true to him. He could have been charged up to 250,000 and five years in jail for EACH of the 7 violations under the Lacey Act. Instead, he received 5 years of probation. The paper didn't state whether or not there was any penalty, suspended.

    The common thread between commercial and sport fishing, and sport hunting, is that they all involve the use of a public trust resource. Violations of the regulations in any of these arenas affect all users of that resource, both the consumptive and non consumptive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    Thanks Akbrownsfan. I just find it interesting that everyone has more knowledge than the judge who made the sentence. TVfink and the whop2000 what information do you have that allows you to reach the conclusion you have? Just a quick question - has anyone read the transcripts of the case or read the Judges ruling? If not jumping to conclusions is just that jumping.

    Also, for the record every fishery has law breakers. In the Kenai River PU fishery a large percentage of people never turn in their harvest records. They have not been prosecuted at all - is that right? However, two wrongs do not make a right so no matter what the other fisheries are doing this individual case needs to be examined on its own merits - which no one has the details to share from what I am reading.
    This could be a great example, Nerka, if it were actually presented right. This fisherman didn't just forget to turn in a harvest ticket. He went down to the Kenai with his dipnet 7 times in two years, and each time, fished UPSTREAM of the Warren Ames bridge. He harvested his limit, and recorded that he was fishing DOWNSTREAM of the bridge each time. This is a little more akin to what the fisherman in this thread was guilty of. If a dipnetter had followed the preceding scenario, do you think he'd get off with no fine or jail time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    This could be a great example, Nerka, if it were actually presented right. This fisherman didn't just forget to turn in a harvest ticket. He went down to the Kenai with his dipnet 7 times in two years, and each time, fished UPSTREAM of the Warren Ames bridge. He harvested his limit, and recorded that he was fishing DOWNSTREAM of the bridge each time. This is a little more akin to what the fisherman in this thread was guilty of. If a dipnetter had followed the preceding scenario, do you think he'd get off with no fine or jail time?
    Willphish, again, jumping to conclusions. There is no doubt that the fisherman pleaded guilty - not debating that at all. What is being debated is if there is a double standard as TVfink and you claim. I maintain without the court records and rationale of the judge for the sentence or what a plea deal said one can only jump to your position solely on emotion - and that is what it is - emotional outburst without any supporting facts. I have asked if you and TVfink read the judges comments or the case and so far what I am sensing is a big NO.

    Relative to your PU example I can tell you that in most cases the lines you cite have a lot of leeway as the officer in the field makes the judgement call. You never see the cases that are never cited because the officer said to the individual - move over here to be legal. It all has to do with the situation. I once had an Ohio couple and their kids fishing in Tern Lake for coho in October. It was snowing. I could have cited all of them and decided based on the situation and their honest story that they had made a honest mistake. It was a violation and I could have thrown the book at them but decided it would not serve any purpose to do so - in fact it would cause more harm. DA's do this all the time in dismissal of cases because the parties agree to some other judgement or their is conflicting issues. So again, to be clear, the issue is not guilt but if the punishment was appropriate and without the judge's rationale one cannot assume anything about it.

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    From another board….

    This case was handled in federal court.


    The sentence was handed down as part of a plea bargain which means he offered the court something, and in return was given a much more lenient sentence than he otherwise would have received. The courts in AK (fed and state) take fish and wildlife cases very seriously and tend to throw the book a lot more often than they hold back. Lacey violations are a big deal.

    Purely speculative, but I would be willing to bet he gave up some info that will lead to a bigger case being made down the line.

    Regardless, seeing guys like this walk away relatively unharmed after stealing from us all leaves a bad taste.
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