CATCHING 17,000 POUNDS OF FISH
March 22, 2007
The three-count indictment named Becker, 35, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment presented to the court, between November, 2004, and January, 2005, Becker allegedly made three unlawful fishing trips to the Fairweather Grounds in the Gulf of Alaska and caught a total of approximately 17,000 pounds of fish. During these three fishing trips, the Fairweather Grounds and all of the East Yakutat Section were closed to directed fishing for Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR). However, Becker is alleged to have falsified his fish landing tickets and his DSR logbook to reflect that the fishing took place in other areas that were open to directed fishing for DSR. The total wholesale value of Becker's unlawfully caught fish was nearly $25,000.
Special Assistant United States
Attorney Todd Mikolop, who presented the case to the grand jury,
indicated that the law provides for a maximum sentence per count
of five years in prison and a fine of $20,000. Under the Federal
Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based
upon the seriousness of the offenses, the retail value of the
fish and the prior criminal history, if any, of the
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
It should be noted that 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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