Charges Made Against Homer Man/Guide Service For Making Illegal Transport Of Harvested Black Bears
A Homer man and his guide service is in hot water over allegations of illegally transporting harvested black bears. Here’s more from KDLL public radio:
Forty-seven-year-old Homer resident Travis Larson and his company Alaska Premier Sportfishing are named as defendants in a six-page indictment a federal grand jury handed up April 23.
According to the indictment, Larson and his guide company illegally transported four black bears they knew had been unlawfully harvested by four Norwegian hunters in May of 2018. Larson and the company then allegedly falsified records to declare the four bears had been transported from Nuka Island, which is part of state-owned Kachemak Bay State Park where hunting is permitted, but the bears had actually been transported from Beauty Bay and Surprise Bay, part of Kenai Fjords National Park where hunting is illegal.
Here’s the Department of Justice press release:
Homer Man Indicted for Illegal Transportation of Black Bears and Making False Records, Lacey Act Violations
Anchorage – A federal grand jury in Alaska returned an indictment on April 21, 2023, charging a Homer man with unlawful transportation of four black bears and making false records in violation of the Lacey Act.
According to court documents, Travis Larson, 47, of Homer, and his company Alaska Premier Sportfishing, LLC, were named as defendants in the six-count indictment. The indictment alleges that in May 2018, Larson and Alaska Premier Sportfishing illegally transported four black bears they knew had been unlawfully harvested by four Norwegian hunters. The defendants used a 65-foot vessel, the Venturess, and a 16-foot motorboat to commit these offenses. The indictment further charges that Larson and Alaska Premier Sportfishing made and submitted false records, which stated the four bears had been transported from Nuka Island, when in truth they had been transported from Beauty Bay and Surprise Bay on the Kenai Peninsula.
Larson is charged with four counts of Unlawful Transportation of Wildlife, in violation of 16 U.S.C. § 3372(a)(2)(A); and two counts of Making False Record, in violation of 16 U.S.C. § 3372(d). If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $20,000 fine on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. The defendants are scheduled for their initial court appearance May 11, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matthew M. Scoble of the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska.
U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker of the District of Alaska made the announcement.
The United States Fish Wildlife Service, National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Alaska State Troopers are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Brickey is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.