Wrangell father and son get fines, probation for Lacey Act violations

A Wrangell father and son were sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty to Lacey Act violations while commercial halibut fishing in Alaska waters.

Charles “Chuck” Petticrew Sr. was sentenced to pay a $90,000 fine, and Charles “Jeff” Petticrew Jr. was sentenced to pay a $10,000 fine. They will both be on probation for five years and will be required to use a vessel monitoring system while fishing. Their sentences came out of a plea agreement with the government.

Petticrew Senior and Junior were charged with falsifying fishing locations in Individual Fishing Quota landing permits and Alaska Department of Fish and Game logbook entries and halibut tickets.

They identified nearly 4,000 pounds of halibut as being caught in area 3A, northwest of Cape Spencer. But they were fishing in area 2C, which is southeast of Cape Spencer. Federal prosecutors estimate the value of the illegally-caught fish at over $23,000. The violations took place between June 2010 and May 2013.

The Lacey Act prohibits the trade of wildlife that is taken illegally.

Petticrew Sr. pleaded guilty in October to a felony count of conspiracy to falsify Individual Fishing Quota records. His son pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for falsifying fishing records.

Prosecutors said Petticrew Jr. also submitted false information by signing the names of his father, mother and brother on IFQ landing reports. All four family members are part owners of the fishing vessel Arlice and members of a family corporation, according to court documents.