Two Plead Guilty To Charges Relating To Violations Of The Lacey Act
October 31, 2015
Charles “Chuck” J. Petticrew Sr., 70, and Charles “Jeff” J. Petticrew Jr., 42, residents of Wrangell, Alaska, were charged by information with offenses related to Lacey Act violations. Both defendants appeared before United States District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess who took the defendant’s guilty pleas.
According to the court, between June 28, 2010, and continuing until May 20, 2013, Petticrew Sr. and Petticrew Jr. conspired to falsify fishing locations on Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Longline Fishery Logbook entries, IFQ landing permits, and ADF&G Halibut Tickets indicating that they fished in Management Area 3A, when in fact, they had only fished Management Area 2C. Petticrew Sr., pled guilty to a single felony count of conspiracy to falsify Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) records. Petticrew Jr., plead guilty to a single misdemeanor count for violating the Lacey Act by falsifying IFQ records during the same time period.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, who is prosecuting the case, indicated that the law provides for a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both, for the charges related to Petticrew Sr. and a year in prison, a fine up to $100,000, or both, for the charges related Petticrew Jr.
Both defendants have signed plea agreements with the government, in which the government and the defendants agree to jointly recommend to the court that Petticrew Sr. pay a fine of $90,000 and Petticrew Jr. will pay a fine of $10,000, for a total combined fine of $100,000 to pay. The agreement further recommends that Petticrew Sr. and Jr. be placed on probation for a period of five years and during their probation period, both agree to install and pay for a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for the vessel used by the defendants or any other vessel who is fishing on behalf of the family corporation. The recommendation is subject to the approval of the court at sentencing.
Judge Burgess set sentencing for both defendants on January 4, 2016.
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
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