Ketchikan man admits illegal taking of sea otters
A 58-year-old Ketchikan man has pleaded guilty to three federal charges of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act. He is the fourth person sentenced following an undercover investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The charges against Sherman Roger Alexander stem from the illegal harvest of 87 sea otters, failure to tag the hides and illegally selling parts of the animals.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Anchorage, other people sentenced following the investigation were Christopher Rowland and Douglas Smith, both of Craig, and Michael Smith of Sitka. The investigation showed that Rowland led frequent otter hunting trips in 2008 with the intention of selling the pelts.
In 2009, Rowland was sentenced to 37 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
In 2010, Douglas Smith was sentenced to one year; and in 2011, Michael Smith was sentenced to six months.
Following his recent guilty plea, Alexander received six months house arrest and a $10,000 fine, and must forfeit 144 sea otter hides. He also is prohibited from hunting or participating in any business involving sea otters for a year. However, he is allowed to teach tanning skills to other Alaska Natives.