Fuglvog Sentenced to Five Months In Prison

Arne Fuglvog has been sentenced.  The former North Pacific Fishery Management Council member convicted of illegal fishing will receive five months in federal prison.

Arne Fuglvog sat  quietly,  almost meekly, before Judge H. Russel Holland in federal court in Anchorage Tuesday morning to hear his sentencing.   Fuglvog had pleaded guilty to one count of a class A misdemeanor violation of the Lacey Act.  A plea deal with federal attorneys could have gotten him a 10 month sentence, but both federal attorney Aunnie Steward and Fuglvog’s counsel Jeff Feldman had asked the court for a lesser sentence.

Judge Holland said sentencing guidelines needed to be adjusted in light of monetary gain.  He said that it is clear that any gain of money was overshadowed by  the damage done to public perception of the ethics of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Holland said, “Mr. Fuglvog was in a position of responsibility and influence and has damaged the NPFMC more than damaged any environmental resources.”

Aunnie Steward, assistant U.S. attorney, said she’s satisfied with the sentence.

“I think it appropriately reflects seriousness of the offense while taking into account the acceptance and cooperation that Mr. Fuglvog has provided since he was contacted by law enforcement,” Steward said.

Fuglvog’s attorney, Feldman, would not comment after the proceedings, saying only that it is not yet clear when Fuglvog will have to report to prison.  Steward said the cooperation Fuglvog afforded federal authorities stands in his favor,  although many details of that cooperation are still under wraps.

“His cooperation is still ongoing at this time,” Steward said.

The fishing violations went on from 2001 to 2006, although the charge and plea agreement focus on Fuglvog’s 2005 violations aboard  one vessel when he doubled his quota in one reporting area by reporting fishing in a different area.  In comments to the court, Fuglvog’s voice broke when he told the judge ” I am deeply sorry for actions”  that “burdened the agencies I had vowed to serve.”  As part of the terms,  Fuglvog will  pay a $50,000 fine and a $100,000 community service payment.

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