Nenana Man Indicted By Federal Grand Jury For False Identification Of Salmon Strips
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a Nenana resident was indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage for false identification of wildlife.
The two-count indictment names Willis Scott Maxon, 52, of Nenana, Alaska, as the sole defendant. Maxon is scheduled to be arraigned in Fairbanks on March 25, 2011.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrocki, who presented the case to the grand jury, Maxon is charged with illegally selling approximately 100 pounds of chum salmon strips which he falsely identified as king salmon. The indictment alleges that in October 2009, Maxon, while at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, falsely represented for sale, dried and smoked salmon strips of “St. Mary’s, Yukon River King Salmon” and “Copper River King Salmon”, which were, in fact, strips of chum salmon.
According to the indictment, as part of his false identification scheme, in January 2010, Maxon mailed from Alaska via the U.S. Postal Service, two boxes containing 50 pounds of smoked chum salmon strips labeled as “25 lbs Kings Class A” and “25 lb Kings”, for commercial resale and for a price of $1,250. Then in August 2010, the indictment alleges Maxon shipped another 50 pounds of chum salmon claiming that it was smoked Yukon River King salmon strips for a price of $1,347. For this shipment, Maxon is charged for false identification of fish species sold in interstate commerce.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Wildlife Troopers conducted the investigation leading to the indictment of Maxon.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.