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Big game guide faces criminal charges

By KTVA CBS 11 News 7:31 PM November 15, 2013

Man is faced with 17 violations of state game and guiding laws

ANCHORAGE – Criminal charges were filed against a big game guide in the Glennallen District Court yesterday.

An investigation by wildlife troopers and the National Park Service found that Jimmy V. West, owner and operator of the Klutina Lodge in Copper Center, illegally led a big game hunt on federal lands within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in 2009. He did not have a federal commercial use concession, according to a release by the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

In 2011 and 2012, West trespassed on Native-owned lands in the Copper River Valley while directing guided black bear hunts. He also harvested a black bear while with a paying client in the field — a violation of state guiding statues — and did not take down his bear bait stations at the end of the season, as is required by law, the release said.

West’s bear bait stations are what alerted officials of his criminal activity, said Megan Peters, DPS public information officer. Troopers also seized a Cessna 185 aircraft from West in August as part of the investigation.

He is charged with 17 violations of state game and guiding laws. Several of the charges have maximum penalties of one year in jail with varying fines.

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