Friday, July 24, 2009

Two indicted in subsistence halibut scheme

From the Justice Department:

July 24, 2009

Juneau men indicted by federal grand jury for illegal halibut sales

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that David Skrzynski and Jason Maroney, both of Juneau, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage on charges of violating the Lacey Act by selling halibut that was taken in violation of federal regulations.

The nine-count indictment names Skrzynski, 58, and Maroney, 38, as the sole defendants.

According to the nine-count indictment, Skrzynski holds a valid Subsistence Halibut Registration Certificate (otherwise known as a “SHARC card”), which allows him to fish for halibut for subsistence purposes. However, federal regulations prohibit the commercial sale of subsistence halibut.

Maroney was the owner of Doc Waters Pub in Juneau. The indictment alleges a continuing scheme from July 2005 to February 2008 where Skrzynski sold subsistence halibut to Maroney for resale in Doc Waters Pub.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

The indictment also includes a criminal forfeiture count for Skrzynski’s vessel, the Drommen.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Law Enforcement, Alaska Enforcement Division, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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