Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dutch Harbor report

From the local police blotter:

Suspicious activity, Oct. 19 — Officer contacted a group of divers who had detonated a seal bomb to scare away a sea lion. The group was advised about local ordinances which prohibit this activity.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Haines man accused of cutting gear fined $1,250

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Sitka
Type: Update — interfere with subsistence gear
On 10/13/10 Brian A. O'Riley, of Haines, pled no contest in Sitka District Court to one count of criminal mischief. The charge resulted from O'Riley intentionally damaging a subsistence longline set for halibut in the Sitka area on 6/11/10. O'Riley was fined $2,500 with $1,250 suspended, ordered to pay restitution to the victim and placed on probation for one year.

Sitka salmon fisherman cited for late fish tickets

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Sitka
Type: Late fish tickets
On 10/19/10 Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Sitka Post, cited George R. Eliason, 58, of Sitka, for failing to submit commercial salmon fish tickets within seven days as required by regulation. Arraignment is set for 10/26/10 in Sitka District Court.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Troopers ticket Bristol Bay fish buyer

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Naknek
Type: Failure to notify of intent to operate
On 10/19/10 King Salmon Wildlife Troopers served a citation to Shannon L. Ford, 35, of Federal Way, Wash., for failing to notify the Alaska Department of Fish and Game of her intent to operate as a commercial fish buyer in Bristol Bay prior to purchasing commercially caught salmon. Arraignment is set for 11/17/10 in Naknek District Court.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dutch Harbor report

From the local police blotter:

Theft, Oct. 10 — Caller, understandably upset about not being able to make grilled ham and cheese sandwich, reported his groceries were being pilfered from a community kitchen at his bunkhouse.

Drunk disturbance, Oct. 12 — Grocery store employee reported finding a drunken man passed out in the public restroom. The inebriate took a taxi to his vessel after an officer ensured that he did not need any medical care or other attention.

Suspicious persons, Oct. 13 — Officer observed two men, one of whom departed as soon as the officer made his presence known, in an area little frequented by the public. The remaining man, who was moderately intoxicated, told the officer that he and his friend often spent time there because they were not allowed to drink alcohol on their boat.

Disorderly conduct, Oct. 14 — Drunken crew members of two vessels from the quasi-reality show "Deadliest Catch" squared off against each other in the lobby of the Grand Aleutian hotel. Those interviewed claimed "bad blood" between the two vessels had instigated the altercation.

Trespass, Oct. 15 — An intoxicated male requested an equally intoxicated female be asked to leave his residence. He was concerned she would become violent once she heard the request. An officer informed her she needed to leave, and she happily departed after hugging the complainant.

Traffic crime, Oct. 15 — A Chevy Blazer impeded traffic in front of the PCR (Parks, Culture and Recreation) by repeatedly starting and stopping. An officer was unable to locate the vehicle, suggesting it finally ceased stopping repeatedly.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dungeness crabber charged with overtime fishing

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Sitka
Type: Commercial fish closed season
On 8/24/10 Alaska Wildlife Troopers located five commercial Dungeness crab pots still fishing past the season closure of 8/15/10. All five pots were inspected and seized. AWT records show that the crab gear belonged to Wayne Endicott, 37, of Spokane, Wash. On 10/13/10, Endicott was charged in Sitka District Court with commercial Dungeness crab fishing during a closed season. He was given a court date of 10/26/10.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two sentenced in subsistence halibut scheme

From the U.S. attorney's office in Anchorage:

Oct. 14, 2010

Restaurant owner, fisherman sentenced for Lacey Act violation

ANCHORAGE — U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler announced that on Oct. 13, a Juneau fisherman and the former owner of a Juneau restaurant were sentenced in federal court in Juneau for violating the Lacey Act by engaging in commercial transactions for halibut that was caught for subsistence purposes.

U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess sentenced David Skrzynski, 58, of Juneau, to 12 months in prison, and Jason Maroney, 39, of Seattle, to 10 months in prison. Judge Burgess ordered that Maroney's imprisonment be served as community confinement.

Maroney, the owner and operator of the former Doc Waters Pub in Juneau, took part in a continuing scheme of purchasing subsistence-caught halibut for resale in the restaurant, a violation of federal regulations. Maroney pled guilty to purchasing subsistence fish from two sources.

Skrzynski, a commercial salmon fisherman, provided fish to Maroney. Skrzynski holds a valid Subsistence Halibut Registration Certificate (commonly 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.

A second fisherman who provided halibut to Maroney is now deceased.

Maroney pled guilty to transactions involving 4,000 pounds of illegally caught halibut, of which over 3,700 pounds was provided by Skrzynski. Maroney paid over $16,500 for the halibut. Maroney paid $4 to $5 per pound for the fish, significantly less than he would have paid for legally harvested halibut.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Burgess recognized the seriousness of the case by stating that this type of violation "absolutely undermines the National Marine Fisheries Service's ability to manage the fishery."

Loeffler commended the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement, Alaska Enforcement Division, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Skrzynski and Maroney.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

E-hotline set up for reporting enforcement abuses

From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

Sept. 27, 2010

NOAA announces fisheries law enforcement complaint e-hotline

NOAA is committed to improving its communications with its constituents and stakeholders. Issues surrounding law enforcement are sensitive, and fishermen may be afraid to come forward to report problems. NOAA already has a website for the public to provide information involving current investigations or to report possible violations of law, and an enforcement hotline that is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, (800) 853-1964.

In order to provide further protection to anyone who has information regarding enforcement improprieties by NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement or enforcement attorneys, NOAA will establish another hotline — this one specifically to report unfair or overzealous enforcement actions or other breaches of conduct by NOAA enforcement agents or attorneys. This enforcement complaint e-hotline will be a link on the NOAA homepage that will allow stakeholders to report any issues to NOAA management through a specific e-mail address,, that will go directly to NOAA headquarters. Any complaints received will be reviewed at headquarters and, as necessary, investigated further.

This should provide fishermen and other members of the regulated community a mechanism for raising issues about NOAA law enforcement without fear of reprisal. NOAA will evaluate the effectiveness of the enforcement complaint hotline after one year to ensure that it is providing an appropriate outlet for enforcement complaints. If it is not working, NOAA will take additional actions to ensure that if the regulated community has issues with NOAA enforcement, they will be heard.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dutch Harbor report, dumb and dumber edition

From the local police blotter:

Animal, Sept. 27 — Caller reported a dead dog in her neighbor's yard. An officer contacted the neighbor who, from his vantage point at a window, was unable to identify the dog. Upon closer inspection of the carcass, the officer found that the dead dog was actually a stuffed animal which had mysteriously found its way out of the neighbor's house and into the yard before expiring. The limp and lifeless plush toy was returned to its owner, whose living dog promptly escaped and ran away.

Assault, Sept. 29 — Officers were called to UniSea Inc. regarding an alleged assault which had taken place in a bunkhouse hallway. Investigation revealed that two drunken sots had accosted another man in a hallway, frightening him into believing that he was about to be injured.

Traffic crime, Oct. 1 — Caller reported a very slow-moving vehicle, apparently operated by a visiting film crew, was impeding traffic. A fire officer advised the driver to be cognizant of their effect on traffic.

Theft, Oct. 4 — Caller reported his rubber raft had been stolen from the small-boat harbor, sometime in the last nine or 10 days. He had already searched for the raft without success. Under investigation.

Traffic crime, Oct. 4 — Driver reported that the driver of a Subaru wagon had driven up a ramp at the batch plant and flown over the top of the ramp, landing on the roadway in front of him and nearly causing a collision. Under investigation.

Theft, Oct. 5 — Caller reported the theft of several thousand dollars worth of copper pipe. Under investigation.

Ambulance request, Oct. 6, 1414 hours — Caller reported a young boy who appeared to need assistance clinging to a raft in Captains Bay.

Assistance rendered, Oct. 6, 1421 hours — Officers responding to a medical emergency learned a young boy wearing waders was knee-deep in water and holding a line attached to his raft while he waited for his dog to return to him. The boy was not in need of any assistance.

Assistance rendered, Oct. 6 — A burly boy standing in front of the Unalaska post office asked an officer how come the post office ain't open no more on Saturdays. The officer read aloud the sign next to the man, which stated that the post office was open on Saturdays.

Assist other agency, Oct. 8 — FBI agent contacted the police department regarding a former resident of Unalaska who was convicted of several murders and was a suspect in several other missing person cases.

Two charged with exceeding sea cucumber limit

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Sitka
Type: Unlawful possession of sea cucumbers
On 10/10/10 Scott Vorrath, 47, of El Cajon, Calif., and Douglas R. Cox, 47, of Vancouver, Wash., were charged with unlawful possession of commercially caught sea cucumbers. Vorrath and Cox had participated in the 2009 sea cucumber fishery, and on 10/5/09 had exceeded their daily limit of 2,000 pounds by 432 pounds each. Both had reported the overage to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and then left the state after the fishery was over. Vorrath and Cox recently returned to the Sitka area and were personally served a summons for the charge of unlawful possession of commercially caught sea cucumbers. Each was given a court date of 10/19/10 in Sitka District Court.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dutch Harbor report

From the local police blotter:

Assistance rendered, Sept. 19 — Police personnel responded to the Alaska Ship Supply store on Salmon Way after receiving a report of a fire. After police had evacuated the building and determined there was no smoke or visible flames, the scene was turned over to fire personnel.

Assistance rendered, Sept. 19 — A man who wished to obtain copies of his own cell phone records came to the Unalaska Department of Public Safety because his cell phone service provider told him he needed a search warrant for his own records. An officer explained that he had been misinformed, and suggested he contact his service provider and explain their error to them.

Suspicious activity, Sept. 21 — Officer noticed unusually dark smoke coming from an industrial building at the UniSea seafood plant. Security personnel were notified and they subsequently contacted their maintenance crew about the problem.

Assistance rendered, Sept. 21 — Officers mediated a dispute over employment and pay between the captain of a foreign vessel and a recently terminated foreign employee of said vessel.

Theft, Sept. 21 — A man fled the Alaska Ship Supply liquor store after he was caught shoplifting by an eagle-eyed and crafty store clerk. The suspect, whose crime was captured on surveillance video, has been identified. Action pending.

Lost property, Sept. 22 — Nokia cell phone, near Westward Seafoods.

Suspicious person, Sept. 22 — A woman reported that a creepy, intoxicated man impersonating a member of the Grand Aleutian maintenance staff had tried to weasel his way into her hotel room, claiming he wanted to change her smoke alarm batteries. The creep, who did not harm the woman or enter her room, was later identified by police and given a trespass advisement.

Suspicious activity, Sept. 24 — Caller reported a half-dozen youths engaged in a paintball battle in the local cemetery. An officer responded and admonished the youths about their choice of battleground.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

3 Ketchikan trollers fished illegally, troopers say

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Ketchikan
Type: Commercial fish closed waters
On 9/30/10 Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Ketchikan Post, contacted Tyson D. Ross, 37, of Ketchikan, commercial hand trolling onboard the F/V Tradition in closed waters outside the Neets Bay terminal harvest salmon fishery. Formal charging documents will be filed in Ketchikan District Court.

Location: Ketchikan
Type: Commercial fish closed waters
On 9/30/10 Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Ketchikan Post, contacted Colby Slanager, 19, of Ketchikan, commercial hand trolling onboard the F/V Tide Change in closed waters outside the Neets Bay terminal harvest salmon fishery. Formal charging documents will be filed in Ketchikan District Court.

Location: Ketchikan
Type: Commercial fish closed waters
On 9/30/10 Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Ketchikan Post, contacted Schyler Stahl, 20, of Ketchikan, commercial hand trolling onboard the F/V Fish Finder in closed waters outside the Neets Bay terminal harvest salmon fishery. Formal charging documents will be filed in Ketchikan District Court.

Homer man charged with filing late fish tickets

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Homer
Type: Failure to submit fish tickets
On 9/30/10 Alaska Wildlife Troopers issued a summons to Everett Anderson, 60, of Homer, for failing to submit state fish tickets to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game within seven days as required. The fish tickets submitted also lacked the information required by regulation. Anderson's court date is scheduled for 10/26/10 in Homer District Court.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Troopers accuse Homer teen of driftnet violation

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Soldotna
Type: Anchoring commercial driftnet to beach
Alaska Wildlife Troopers issued a summons to 17-year-old Iosif I. Martishev of Homer for intentionally anchoring a drift gillnet to the beach near Silver Salmon Creek. Martishev also was cited for using an improperly marked buoy on his fishing gear. Arraignment is scheduled for 10/19/10 in Homer District Court.