Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Oregon Resident Convicted of Commercial Fishing Crimes

An Oregon man convicted of two counts of falsely reporting where he caught fish in Alaska waters faces a maximum of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Freddie Joe Hankins, 47, of Cove, Oregon, is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 12 by U.S. District Court Judge Russel H. Holland.

The US Attorney’s office in Anchorage said Aug. 3 that Hankins was convicted by a jury of two counts of falsely reporting which regulatory area in the Gulf of Alaska he caught his individual fishing quota halibut.

Specifically, in 2007, Hankins caught halibut in an area where he was not authorized to fish, because he did not have quota in that area, and he falsely reported that he caught the halibut in a regulatory area where he did have quota, said Assistant US Attorney Stephen Cooper, who prosecuted the case.

Veteran commercial fisherman Arne Fuglvog, a former fisheries aide to Sen. Lisa Murkowski now serving time for his fisheries convictions, testified that he had fished with Hankins and it was Hankins’ practice to falsely report where he fished for IFQ halibut because the fishing was better in the regulatory area where Hankins did not have quota.

The jury acquitted Hankins on two other counts of false reporting.

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