Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - A fishing charter operator was sentenced in Prince of Wales District Court this week on four counts of wildlife crimes.
A dispatch from Alaska Wildlife Troopers says 75 year old Stuart E. Merchant of Klawock pled guilty to three counts of violating halibut regulations and one count of falsifying sport fish charter log books. The charges were pressed after Wildlife Troopers found Merchant in possession of an illegally caught halibut.
Merchant is the owner and operator of Forget M Knot Charters. The dispatch says he has been convicted of similar violations in 2015 and had his sport and guiding privileges revoked for August of last year.
During that time he was spied actively fishing with friends from out of state. This led to additional fines for violating his probation and another revocation for this month.
As part of the recent conviction, Merchant was fined a total of $13,000 with $8,000 of that suspended. He was fined an additional $2,000 dollars for violating the conditions of his probation from the original 2015 case.
Merchant was sentenced to 30 days in jail with 30 days suspended. His fishing and guiding privileges were suspended for 22 months and for 12 of those months he may not enter a boat in Alaskan waters.
Merchant’s 26 foot guide boat and boat trailer were forfeited to the state.
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