Convicted poacher to admit selling bird parts

By October 27, 2011Syndicated

Federal prosecutors’ case against a former Juneau fishing guide initially accused of illegally selling bear and bird parts may be coming to an end.

37-year old Michael Patrick Duby is expected to plead guilty Monday, October 31st to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in U.S. District Court in Juneau. All other charges against him are being dropped as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

The single remaining charge concerns sale of at least eleven black-billed magpies on eBay from February of 2008 through June of 2009. That’s even after being warned by eBay officials that such sales could be illegal. Prosecutors say he sold the parts under the screen name of “Shortraker.”

Duby, who worked out of Juneau as a charter boat captain in his company “FishHunter Charters,” could be sentenced to as much as two years in prison, pay a $250,000 dollar fine, and spend three years on supervised release.

He’ll also forfeit fourteen magpie skins, four snipe skins, one crow, a black bear shoulder mount, and a compound bow and arrows used on illegal bear hunts.

Court documents indicate that the plea agreement was reached inlaate September, almost immediately after a federal grand jury returned with a superceding indictment against Duby.

In addition to selling as many as twenty-seven magpies, the more-recent six-count indictment also listed the illegal sale of two common snipes, one American crow, and parts of a black bear hide. All of the parts were allegedly sold as fly-tying supplies to buyers in Washington State. Sale of the birds is considered a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Duby was given a 20-year suspended sentence in September for illegal hunting in Montana. He was also ordered to pay $15,500 in fines and restitution. Duby pled no contest in April to felony charges of illegal possession of game animals related to the taking of at least two bull elk, eleven deer, and thirteen antelope.

Other hunters, including Duby’s father and a friend from Washington State, were also charged in connection with the poaching. They were either sentenced to suspended jail time or probation.

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