Anchorage man sentenced for illegally guided hunts

This photo was provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alaska and officials say it was used as evidence in the trial.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - An Anchorage man has been sentenced to six months in prison after illegally selling big game guiding services in 2018.

According to a press release from The United States Department of Justice, District of Alaska, 45-year-old Stephen Jeremy Hicks pleaded guilty in September 2021 to one felony violation of the Lacey Act for illegally selling guiding services to a client near Max Lake, which is near the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

Hicks sold a hunt he was not permitted to sell on Bureau of Land Management lands, and was in violation of Alaska State laws governing guide requirements for supervision of clients while in the field, according to the release.

Hicks was ordered to pay $13,460 for the illegally sold sheep hunt, and to forfeit his interest in a Piper Super Cub, according to the Attorney’s office. Hicks also faces three years of supervised release in addition to the six-month prison sentence.

The court found that Hicks had committed other hunting crimes with other non-resident clients, including:

  • Guiding same-day airborne hunts
  • Guiding clients on other state and federally managed lands without permits
  • Wanton waste of game
  • Making false statements and records
  • Taking big game without paying for required tags
  • Guiding while his license was permanently revoked

Hicks is restricted from flying private aircraft or any commercial hunting during his supervision period.

Chief U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason noted inadequate resources for wildlife protection investigation, and that Hicks profited from the crimes committed.

“The need for prison is to make clear that blatant disregard for state and federal fish and wildlife rules will not be tolerated,” Gleason said.

“Alaska’s wildlife is the envy of the world. Unwavering wildlife law enforcement is critical to the health and well-being of the state’s wildlife populations, which are an irreplaceable part of Alaska’s natural heritage,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “Wildlife is also critical to Alaska Natives for subsistence hunting and fishing as well as sport hunting and tourism. In coordination with our federal and state partners, our office will pursue and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who violate wildlife laws.”

The case was investigated by Alaska State Troopers, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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