- Associated Press - Thursday, January 8, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska hunting guide has been fined $2,000 for filing false information about a 2011 goat hunt.

John Katzeek, 65, on Wednesday was placed on probation for four years, ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and required to pay $1,500 in restitution, the Juneau Empire reported (https://bit.ly/1wxoHBH ).

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess also revoked Katzeek’s hunting and guiding privileges during his probation.

Federal prosecutors charged Katzeek with nine counts of breaking federal conservation laws, and he was acquitted of eight counts at trial in February. The conviction was for “false labeling” after a goat hunt with two clients from Canada.

Katzeek was prosecuted as part of a joint investigation between federal, state and Canada authorities dubbed “Operation Bruin.” Seventeen Canada residents were charged with illegal hunts and illegal import of wildlife from the United States.

In Katzeek’s case, the hunters killed two goats legally but wasted most of the meat, according to testimony. They left the meat on the mountain to lighten their loads for the hike down after an assistant guide fell and broke his leg.

Katzeek later signed paperwork that contained incorrect information, including the weight of the meat salvaged, the date of the hunt and the name of the assistant guide.

Prosecutors said Katzeek lied, but Katzeek and his lawyers called the error a case of sloppy paperwork.

Defense attorney Michael Nash said Katzeek’s offense in state court would have been a misdemeanor but the federal Lacey Act elevated it.

“The government sees this offense as a major offense,” Nash told the judge. “I simply don’t see it that way.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Skrocki said the case was about trust placed in guides to follow the law and about “doing the right thing.”

Katzeek’s brother, Ronald Martin, 72, was convicted of multiple illegal hunts, falsification of documents related to illegal hunts and importation of illegal wildlife. Martin in October 2013 was fined $40,000 and placed on probation for four years.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide