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Men accused of hunting Alaska black bear illegally

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Four men, including one from Washington state, have been charged in an illegal black-bear hunt on Prince of Wales Island after an undercover investigation by Alaska and Idaho authorities posing as hunters, Alaska State Troopers said yesterday.

The men were arrested in the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan as they got off a commuter ferry bringing them back from the seven-day hunt.

The men face numerous misdemeanor criminal charges, including operating without a state guiding license, leaving carcasses to rot and taking more than the legal limit.

Authorities were tipped to the case in an e-mail that Gary Sanders of Goodyear, Ariz., was advertising his guiding services on the Internet, offering hunts for black bear in Alaska and deer in Idaho even though he's not licensed to do so in either state, Sgt. Burke Waldron said.

An undercover officer from Alaska and Idaho each posed as a hunter and made online arrangements to join the excursion on the island south of Juneau.

Also along for the trip were Robert Novak, 40, of Auburn, Wash., accused of working as Sanders' assistant, and two hunters, Robert Disidori, 31, a repeat client from Mickleton, N.J., and his friend, John Shields, 31, of Rising Sun, Md. All four pleaded not guilty at their arraignment at District Court in Ketchikan.

Copyright 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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