A Southeast resident was ordered to pay a $5000 fine and serve a year on probation after he was convicted of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Raymond Chatham — who has a cabin in Edna Bay, but provided a mailing address in Wyoming — participated by telephone in Thursday’s hearing in U.S. District Court in Juneau.
As part of an agreement with prosecutors, the 64-year old Chatham changed his plea to two misdemeanor counts of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They were for transporting eighty-seven sea otters for an acquaintance in October 2008, and keeping fourteen sea otter skulls for himself.
His defense attorney acknowledged that ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse,’ but she noted her client’s willingness to set things right. Prosecutors agreed that Chatham was upfront and very cooperative with investigators.
Chatham told the court that “I’m very sorry for this and it is an embarrassment to me.”
The maximum penalty for each of the charges could’ve been a year in jail and a $100,000 fine.
Chatham was just one of nine people charged in what was called ‘Operation Enhydra,’ a joint state and federal undercover investigation into the illegal taking and sale of marine mammals.
- Juneau Makerspace opens its studio to the public on Monday nights except for holidays. See an upcoming events calendar at JuneauMakerspace.org. Family memberships are $50 a month. Members get 24-hour access.
- A Juneau resident blew a blood alcohol content of three times the legal driving limit early Monday after a single-vehicle incident and was arrested. Tautar Pearce, 37, was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated.
- Emmanuel Jal, a peace activist, musician and entrepreneur visited Juneau to tell high school students about his experience as a child soldier.
- The commission will make a decision within 10 days. In the meantime, Henry has just about a week before he must report to federal prison to serve a year-long sentence for his failure to file income taxes.