A commercial fisherman who was a former associate of disgraced highliner and congressional aide Arne Fuglvog will have to pay $100,000 for his own illegal fishing activities.
Federal prosecutors announced on Thursday that Freddie Joe Hankins was sentenced to three-years probation and will have all future fishing activities recorded by an electronic monitoring device. As specified during a sentencing hearing on November 8th, $25,ooo will be in the form of a fine and $75,000 will be a community service payment. He’ll also be required to have a statement acknowledging his wrongdoing published in National Fisherman magazine.
The 47-year old fisherman from Cove, Oregon was acquitted in August of making a false statement and making a false Individual Fishing Quota landing report for black cod caught in April 2007. But he was convicted on two identical charges for a landing made in May 2007.
Federal fisheries investigators alleged that Hankins harvested about 47,800 pounds of black cod that were counted toward his Individual Fishing Quota for the Central Gulf of Alaska area, when the fish were actually caught in the Western Yakutat area by Fuglvog’s boat Kamilar. The fish allegedly had an ex-vessel value of over $222,000 and was eventually transported across state lines from where it was landed in Yakutat to Seattle.
Taking the stand was Hankins himself who denied fishing illegally, while Fuglvog served as a witness for the prosecution.
According to the U.S. Attorneys office, Judge H. Russell Holland determined that Hankins perjured himself when he denied falsifying reports. Judge Holland found that Hankins was still in a state of denial about committing the crimes for which he was convicted by a jury.
During the trial, Hankins attorney disputed the reliability of GPS data taken from the Kamilar’s navigational computer.
Fuglvog, convicted of falsifying his own fishing records, was sentenced in February to five months in federal prison, fined $50,000, and ordered to pay $100,000 in a community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Hell’ also be on supervised release for a year. In addition to working in the office of Senator Lisa Murkowski, Fuglvog was a former North Pacific Fishery Management Council member and a one-time candidate to head the National Marine Fisheries Service.
- Several weeks ago, the financing fell through on a plan to bring the “Akutan,” a floating fish processing vessel, to Kuskokwim Bay. Fishermen in the coastal community of Quinhagak have nowhere to sell their catch for the second summer in a row. Many in the village are now struggling to make ends meet.
- The Juneau Assembly voted 6-3 to reaffirm its commitment to combating climate change. Opponents argued against interjecting into a national debate.
- The Utah man accused of killing his wife aboard a cruise ship in Southeast Alaska is scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing 10 a.m. Wednesday.
- More than 50 pilots and flight attendants picketed Monday afternoon in front of Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. Their goal was to call on Alaska Airlines management to give them what they view as fairer wages and benefits.