A big game guide from Haines was sentenced Tuesday in Juneau federal court for wildlife violations dating back to 2002 that involved the illegal taking and importation of wildlife and false labeling.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska announced that Haines resident Ronald L. Martin, 72, pled guilty to five felony counts of violating the Lacey Act and admitted to multiple illegal hunts, falsification of numerous documents and the importation of wildlife from Canada into the United States.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess fined Martin $40,000 and placed him on probation for four years. While on probation, Martin will be prohibited from hunting in the United States and he will be banned from hunting anywhere in the world for two years. The plea deal reached with federal prosecutors, which was accepted by the judge on Tuesday, also requires Martin to forfeit all illegal wildlife seized in the years-long investigation, plus a 27-foot trailer that was used to illegally import wildlife.
In an interview Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt told the Empire that Martin has already been convicted and sentenced in state court for the offenses. He said the case rose to the federal level in part because Martin was illegally transporting wildlife across state lines. The federal Lacey Act of 1900 prohibits the trafficking of wildlife, plants and fish.
In state court, Martin previously pled guilty to one count of baiting brown bears while guiding clients, and one count of guiding clients over an unregistered bear site, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Anchorage. As part of that conviction, Martin was fined $40,000 with $30,000 suspended and ordered to forfeit the following items: a PA-18 Piper Supercub airplane, a F-250 Ford pickup truck, a Honda ATV and a Kimber .338-caliber rifle with a Leopold scope. Martin’s hunting license was also revoked until May 2016, and he is prohibited from guiding, outfitting or transporting hunters, and is not allowed to accompany or assist hunters in the field. He is further prohibited from acting as a consultant, expediting, booking or renting hunting equipment and cannot apply for a hunting license until 2018. He was required to surrender his guide license for life. More....