The Facebook post showed gallon-sized bags of moose ribs for $25 each and appeared on the private page “Bethel Bargains.” Selling big game meat is illegal in Alaska, and the post’s creator, 36-year-old Arnold Lupie of Bethel, received a minor offense charge.
Lupie’s arraignment was held Monday in Bethel, but Lupie did not appear in court or call into the hearing. The defendant has a criminal history, but this is his first offense of this kind. During the hearing, Trooper Walter Blajeski told the court that he had contacted Lupie when Troopers became aware of the ad, and Lupie had told the Trooper that he had posted the ad, but not sold any of the meat.
“He made admissions that he did it,” Blajeski explained to the court. “However, he made admissions that he wasn’t necessarily aware of the regulation when he did it.”
The maximum charge for the minor offense is $500, but Trooper Blajeski recommended a fine of $100, which the court accepted. After the hearing, Trooper Blajeski emphasized that troopers are not patrolling Facebook, but illegal activity, like selling or advertising big game meat, will be investigated.
“The Troopers that I know of and myself aren’t trolling Facebook looking for cases to develop,” Blajeski said. “But when one gets brought to our attention, we’re going to investigate it like any other violation or criminal offense.”
Lupie did not respond to KYUK’s message requesting comment.
Trooper Blajeski reports that he’s investigating one other Facebook post advertising big game meat in the area. He encourages people to call the Troopers if they’re unsure of any regulations.