A North Pole man was charged Thursday with 32 misdemeanor violations of federal wildlife law, including the unlawful taking of wildlife.

Robert John Albaugh, 58, and his wife applied for and received a combined 63 federal subsistence hunt permits between 2002 and 2018 for Game Management Unit 13 and took 23 caribou and one moose under those permits by falsely claiming to be rural residents of Delta Junction, according to a news release from the office of Bryan Schroder, U.S. attorney for the District of Alaska.  

The charges are “stemming from a 16 year span of submitting fraudulent Federal Subsistence Permit Applications and subsequent illegal hunting and transporting of wildlife in a Federal Subsistence Area located south of Delta Junction,” according to the news release.

Charging documents from the case explain that the federal Lacey Act makes it “unlawful for any person to transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase any wildlife taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any law, treaty, of regulation of the United States.” 

Charging documents in the case state that the 32 charges are split between seven counts for Lacey Act violations, seven counts of unlawful taking of wildlife and 18 counts of fraudulent permit application. 

The documents also state that, “the defendant falsely and fraudulently stated that his community of primary residence was the rural community of Delta Junction, Alaska, when in truth and fact the defendant’s community of primary residence was North Pole, Alaska.” 

Charging documents further state that, because the couple lived in North Pole, they therefore were not rural residents eligible to receive a federal subsistence hunt permit.

The news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office states that the Bureau of Land Management Office of Law Enforcement and Security conducted the investigation into Albaugh “following a separate investigation of the Albaughs by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers for Taking of Wildlife Closed Season.”

If convicted, Albaugh faces up to one year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine on each count, according to the news release.

Contact staff writer Sam Ferrara at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.

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