Story last updated at 3/18/2009 - 8:55 pm
CRAIG - A 41-year-old Craig man will serve more than three years in prison for violating the Lacey and the Marine Mammal Protection acts. Christopher R. Rowland also was fined $5,000 when he was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Anchorage last week.
Rowland pled guilty to four counts of violating the Lacy Act in what authorities say was extensive involvement in illegal hunting, killing and export of sea otters, sea lions and harbor seals, and the illegal sale of pelts.
A two-year undercover operation conducted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with help from numerous state and federal agencies began in response to a concerned citizen's tip regarding the harvesting of animals protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The investigation revealed Rowland was conducting "frequent and well-planned hunting trips to harvest sea otters and sell their pelts on a commercial scale and without regard to the consequences of his illegal taking," according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Rowland will be on supervised release for three years following the completion of the 37-month prison sentence.