David M. Demers, 56, and Reginald D. Krkovich, 67, both of Yakutat,
and Daniel Lee Hertzog, 52, a resident of Pleasant Hill, Mo., were
sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess in
Anchorage for illegal brown bear guiding and witness tampering,
according to a press release from United States Attorney Karen Loeffler
Demers was sentenced to pay a fine of $5,000, forfeit his hunting
rifle and was placed on three years probation with a no hunting
condition as well as six months home confinement, for conspiring to
violate the Lacey Act and witness tampering.
Krkovich was sentenced to a term of three years probation, no hunting
for the three-year term and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 for a
felony violation of the Lacey Act and a felony violation of witness
Hertzog was sentenced to two years probation, a fine of $10,000, no
hunting for two years and forfeiture of the illegally killed bear and
his hunting rifle for committing a violation of the Lacey Act.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrocki, who prosecuted
the case, Demers and Krkovich admitted they conspired with each other to
illegally guide and transport two Missouri hunters for brown bear. Both
later tampered with one of the non-resident hunters by calling him and
asking the hunter to destroy evidence.
Skrocki informed the court during these proceedings that Krkovich and
Demers, neither of whom was a registered guide, transporter or
outfitter, conspired with each other to assist Missouri residents Daniel
and Jerry Hertzog in the illegal taking of a brown bear in 2007.
Skrocki explained that in September 2007, the Hertzogs cancelled a
contracted hunt after receiving negative reports of the contracted
guides’ services. Krkovich offered to let Daniel Hertzog use his
recently acquired brown bear tag, while Demers acted as an unlicensed
transporter for the group’s gear.
Over a period of several days, Krkovich and Demers were present in
the field, specifically the Esker Stream area of the Wrangell-St. Elias
National Preserve, when Daniel Hertzog killed a brown bear.
As part of his plea, Krkovich admitted Daniel Hertzog killed the
brown bear who then used Krkovich’s bear tag to tag the brown bear.
In connection with his plea of guilty, Krkovich admitted to falsely
tagging the bear with his tag and providing false information to the
Alaska Department of Fish & Game for stating falsely on a brown bear
sealing certificate that he (Krkovich) shot the brown bear. Demers
admitted to acting as an unlicensed transporter carrying gear for the
hunting party to the field.
As to the second count of witness tampering, Krkovich and Demers
admitted to contacting Daniel Hertzog by phone on several occasions with
the intention to corruptly persuade him not to cooperate with federal
agents investigating the case and to conceal incriminating evidence.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service led the investigation with
significant the support of Alaska Wildlife Troopers.
Fair Use Notice: This document may contain copyrighted material
whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. We believe
that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes
a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section
107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted
material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must
obtain permission from the copyright owner.