Gallatin County District Judge Mike Salvagni on Monday handed an Alaskan fishing guide a 20-year prison sentence, suspending all 20 years, for poaching elk, deer and antelope over several years. The judge also ordered Michael P. Duby, 37, to pay $15,500 in fines and restitution.
Duby pleaded no contest in April to four felony charges of illegal possession of game animals, saying he was “unable to admit” to any of the charges because federal charges are pending and a guilty plea could incriminate him.
An Alaskan undercover officer found photographs of Duby and two other men posing with elk, deer and antelope in an album on Duby’s charter fishing boat.
From 2004 to 2009, Duby and the two other men killed 19 antelope and numerous other large game animals in Gallatin County without proper licenses.
Several people were convicted of misdemeanor charges relating to the poaching scheme.
Duby’s father, Michael W. Duby, 62, of Arizona and their friend, Jeffrey C. Fritz, 42, of Washington, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges earlier this year.
The elder Duby was sentenced to two six-month suspended jail sentences for two misdemeanor charges of unlawful possession of game animals. Fritz pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor charges of illegal possession of game animals and was sentenced to three and a half years probation.
Also convicted of misdemeanors related to the poaching incidents were Gallatin County residents Robert Hosfield, Tammy Hosfield, Heather Brelsford, Thomas Clawson and Aaron Neubauer.
Duby’s sentencing Monday closes the case.
The younger Duby is banned from hunting, trapping, fishing or assisting in such activities in Montana for the rest of his life.
For now, Duby is also prohibited from hunting or trapping anywhere, although he can still fish anywhere other than Montana.
A federal indictment filed last week in Alaska charges Michael P. Duby with five counts of unlawfully selling migratory birds between March 2008 and June 2009. He was also charged with selling an illegally taken black bear.
According to the document, Duby was selling the birds, bear hide and bird parts to be used for fly-tying material via outlets, including eBay.
In 2008, the document states, eBay warned Duby “that his sales of migratory birds may be in violation of federal law.” Yet he continued to pursue the sales, taking payment from a Washington wholesaler in June 2009, the indictment contends.
Duby was scheduled to appear by telephone at an arraignment in federal court in Juneau, Alaska, later Monday, according to the federal court docket.
Jodi Hausen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 582-2630.