Three charged with illegal harvest of sea cucumbers

    Whale Pass, Alaska (KINY) Alaska Wildlife Troopers said $35,288 worth of sea cucumbers were illegally harvested.

    Jonathan McGraw Jr., 43, Keith Wagner, 52, and Curtis Looper, 27, all of Naukati, were charged with commercial fishing in closed waters.

    A dispatch from Alaska Wildlife Troopers said the investigation began December 19 when troopers seized 1,263 pounds of sea cucumbers from McGraw's boat the F/V Bottom Time. 

    Mr. McGraw was charged with seven counts of commercial fishing in closed waters, seven counts of illegal possession, six counts of falsifying fish tickets, violation of conditions of release, failure to display vessel identification, and employing an unlicensed crew member.

    Mr. Wagner was charged with illegal possession while Mr. Looper was charged with illegal possession and having no crew member license.

    The operation involved troopers from Klawock, Petersburg, and Wrangell.  McGraw is suspect of unlawful harvesting of sea cucumbers on seven different occasions that totaled 7,506 pounds of sea cucumbers.

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