Halibut Fishermen Plead Guilty

A father and son from Wrangell, Alaska, face sentencing on Jan. 4 after pleading guilty in federal court in Juneau to violating the Lacey Act while harvesting halibut in the Gulf of Alaska.
In a statement released Oct. 27, US Attorney for Alaska Karen Loeffler said that Charles “Chuck” J. Petticrew Sr., 70, and Charles “Jeff” J. Petticrew Jr., 42, both appeared before US District Court Judge Timothy Burgess, who took their guilty pleas for conspiring to falsify fishing locations between June 28, 2010 and continuing until May 20, 2013.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said reports filed with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Longline Fishery Logbook entries, individual fishing quota landing permits, and ADF&G halibut tickets, the Petticrews indicated that they fished in Management Area 3A, when in fact they had only fished Management Area 2C.
Petticrew Sr. pled guilty to a single felony count of conspiracy to falsify individual fishing quota records. Petticrew Jr. pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count for violating the Lacey Act by falsifying IFO records during the same time period.
Both defendants signed plea agreements in which the government and the Petticrews agreed to jointly recommend to the court that the elder Petticrew pay a $90,000 fine and his son a $10,000 fine. The agreement further recommends that both be placed on probation for five years, and that during that period they will install and pay for a vessel monitoring system for the vessel they use or any other vessel fished on behalf of the family corporation.

The recommendation is subject to approval of the court at sentencing.