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Florida Man Sentenced for Illegal Brown Bear Hunts

August 15, 2011

By Chris Klint, KTUU.com

ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

A Florida man convicted of federal felonies committed during Alaska hunts has been ordered to pay more than $66,000 in fines and restitution after killing three bears, two of them illegally -- and then complaining that the last one wasn’t just right.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Anchorage says 36-year-old Jack Vincent Dickerson of Spring Hill, Fla. was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to one felony count each of identity theft and violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits trade in illegally taken plants and animals.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrocki says that in 2007 Dickerson, an experienced hunter, shot a brown bear in Game Management Unit 9 on the Alaska Peninsula. The kill prohibited Dickerson from hunting bear in the same management unit for the next four years -- but Dickerson applied for an online hunting license and brown bear tag the next year under a friend’s name, shooting and mortally wounding a GMU 9 bear in May 2008.

A month later, Dickerson again used the name of his friend, who was unaware of the applications, to obtain a hunting license and tag. In October 2009 Dickerson illegally killed a female brown bear in GMU 9, subsequently having its hide made into a rug which was delivered to his home under his false name.

After the 2009 hunt, Dickerson complained to hunt provider Cabela’s Outdoor Adventures under his false identity about the quality of the female bear, saying he wanted a 10-foot trophy male. He then contacted his credit-card company and claimed the charges for the hunt were unauthorized, receiving a chargeback of $15,150 in costs.

In addition to repaying that amount to Cabela’s, Dickerson will have to pay a $50,000 federal fine for the Lacey Act violation and $1,300 in restitution to the State of Alaska.

He also forfeited a .416 Ruger hunting rifle and the brown bear rug seized during the investigation, and was placed on three years of probation barring him from hunting, guiding or transporting anyone in connection with hunting.

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