SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Former Ketchikan Resident Pleads Guilty & Sentenced For Lacey Act Violation


October 27, 2015
Tuesday PM

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Donald Ray Thornlow, a former resident of Ketchikan pled guilty in federal court in Juneau to violating the Lacey Act by commercially purchasing halibut that was caught for subsistence and sport purposes.

Thornlow, 66, pled guilty October 19, 2015, to a single count of a Lacey Act violation before United States Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh.

According to the information presented to the court by Assistant United States Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, who prosecuted the case, from January 2012 to about December 2013, Thornlow, the owner and operator of the former Narrows Inn and Restaurant in Ketchikan took part in a continuing scheme of purchasing subsistence and sport caught halibut for resale in his restaurant, a violation of federal regulations.

Thornlow pled guilty to purchasing at least 997 pounds of illegally-caught halibut from three sources. According to information provided by the Department of Justice, Thornlow paid the three fishermen significantly less than he would have paid for legally-harvested halibut. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Thornlow will pay a $5,000 fine and be placed on probation for one year.

Prior to imposing sentence, Magistrate Judge Longenbaugh highlighted the seriousness of the offense and the need to deter the defendant and others, as well as the need to protect Alaska fishery resources as the reasons for imposing the sentence.

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


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Justice - District of Alaska


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