April 5, 2012 | Vol. 42, No. 14

Investigation into possible guiding violations continues

Lt. Steve Hall of the Alaska State Troopers in Juneau this week said an investigation in connection with a seizure of guiding equipment and records in Haines Nov. 7, is ongoing.

Hall declined specifics including when, or if, information would be forwarded to a prosecutor. “A lot of work is going on.”

Hall said a delay between such seizures and prosecution isn’t unusual in some cases involving search warrants, depending on their complexity.

“The hard part about it is the public wants to know. Because it’s a small town, everybody knows where we went and what we did (but) until the date that charges are filed, (suspects) have a right of privacy,” Hall said.

The state has not dropped the case, he said. “If (the matter) was dropped, the (seized equipment) would be returned.”

A trooper source said in November that the investigation involved law enforcement agencies in Canada and in multiple states in the Lower 48. It appears to involve violations of the federal Lacey Act, which prohibits trade in fish or game that has been illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold.

State lawmen made a similar sweep involving guides here in 1995.