Fishing violation nets Wrangell father, son $100K fine

An Alaskan federal judge on Monday fined a Wrangell father and son $100,000 for lying about where they were fishing for halibut in the Gulf of Alaska, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess imposed the sentence for Charles “Chuck” J. Petticrew Sr., 70, and Charles “Jeff” J. Petticrew Jr., 42, in Juneau federal court.

Both defendants had entered into a plea agreement and agreed to pay the fine when they pled guilty to violating the Lacey Act in October. The Lacey Act is a federal law that prohibits the illegal take and trafficking of plants, animals and fish.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt said the Petticrews falsified fishing locations on state and federal paperwork from June 2010 through May 2013. On paperwork, the two commercial fishermen indicated they were fishing in one management area when really they were fishing in another, according to the prosecutors’ statement.

“The defendants had illegally caught halibut in Management Area 2C valued over $23,000 and falsified Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) records,” read the release issued Tuesday.

The elder Petticrew pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to falsify IFQ records and was sentenced to pay a $90,000 fine and serve five years of probation. The younger Petticrew pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count for violating the Lacey Act by falsifying IFQ records and was sentenced to pay a $10,000 fine and serve five years probation.

Both men have agreed to install and pay for a Vessel Monitoring System for their vessels when they fish in the future.

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