Friday, March 9, 2018

Three charged, boat seized in sea cucumber case

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Whale Pass
Type: Commercial fish closed waters
On 3/7/18 Alaska Wildlife Troopers from Klawock, Petersburg and Wrangell concluded an investigation which began in December 2017. Investigation determined Jonathan McGraw Jr., 43, Keith Wagner, 52, and Curtis Looper, 27, all from Naukati, were commercially harvesting sea cucumbers from closed waters including from the sea cucumber preserve in Whale Pass. McGraw’s boat the F/V Bottom Time, his dive gear, and 1,263 pounds of sea cucumbers were seized on 12/19/17. McGraw was charged with seven counts of commercial fishing in closed waters, seven counts of illegal possession, six counts falsifying fish tickets, one count of violating conditions of release, one count of failure to display vessel identification, and one count of employing an unlicensed crewmember. Wagner and Looper were charged with one count each of commercial fishing in closed waters and illegal possession. Looper was additionally charged with one count of no crewmember license. In all, McGraw is suspected of unlawfully harvesting sea cucumbers on seven occasions totaling 7,506 pounds of sea cucumbers valued at a total of $35,288.

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