Hunting Show Host, Two Production Companies, Nine Others Charged In Noatak National Preserve Poaching Investigation
Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a cable TV hunting show host and nine other individuals were charged in Fairbanks U.S. District Court and other states for their participation in a multi-year poaching operation on the Noatak National Preserve. According to the charging documents, dozens of big game animals, including grizzly bear, moose, caribou and Dall sheep were illegally hunted and killed with some of the illegal kills ending up on a cable television show. Two production companies and another individual charged with filming and airing footage without a permit have also been cited by the National Park Service in connection with this investigation.
Charged in separate cases are Clark W. Dixon, 41, of Hazelhurst, Mississippi; Charles W. Dixon, 70, of Brookhaven; Mississippi, Randolph Goza, 48, of Wasilla, Alaska; Terry Goza, 71, of Hazelhurst, Mississipi; Clarence Michael Osborne, 53, of Madison, Mississippi; Shannon Dale Hooks, 54, of Mendenhall, Mississippi; Lance David Walker, 37, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Fulton Josef Wold, 41, of Nashville, Tennessee, and Robert Scott Viner, 40, of Ridgeland, Mississippi.
According to the charging documents, Clark W. Dixon, a featured host on the cable TV hunting show “The Syndicate,” was charged with two felony violations of the federal Lacey Act for his role in the illegal take of big game. The first charge against Clark W. Dixon alleges that in 2010 Dixon and Clarence Michael (“Mike”) Osborne, who is charged separately, illegally took a grizzly bear, for a fee, same-day airborne, and without Clark Dixon being a licensed and registered Alaska big game guide. In the second charge, Clark W. Dixon is charged with conducting an illegal outfitting operation on the Noatak National Preserve from 2009 to the present. Assisting Clark Dixon in the operation, as alleged, were Randolph Goza and Charles W. Dixon, both of whom are pilots.
The investigation as charged alleges that, at the time the violations were committed, Clark W. Dixon falsely claimed Alaska residency status while being a resident of the state of Mississippi. The charges against Dixon reflect that he lied about his residency status in order to take advantage of Alaska resident hunting privileges.
Charles W. Dixon, who is Clark W. Dixon’s father, is charged with two counts of violating the Lacey Act and one count of criminal forfeiture which seeks forfeiture of a STOLQuest SQ-4 aircraft. As a basis for forfeiture of the aircraft it is alleged that Charles W. Dixon used the aircraft in the illegal outfitting, guiding and transporting operation, in addition to using the aircraft to transport unlawfully taken game taken by Clark W. Dixon and others.
Randall (“Randy”) Goza, Terry Goza, Michael Osborne, Shannon Hooks, Lance Walker, and Fulton Wold are separately charged with the illegal take of various Alaska big game species, with all, except Mr. Hooks, hunting out of Clark Dixon’s illegal hunting camp within the Noatak National Preserve. Unlawfully taken species of game as alleged include grizzly bear, moose, caribou and Dall sheep, with all of those species charged as being taken through illegal hunting methods such as same-day airborne (Randy Goza, Terry Goza, Osborne) unpermitted and untagged takes, (Hooks, Wold, Walker, Osborne) and taking grizzly bear without a guide or tag, while permitting Clark Dixon or Charles Dixon to unlawfully claim the bear kills as their own (Osborne, Hooks, Walker). Robert Viner has been cited in Mississippi, through this investigation, for the illegal transport of an unlawfully taken brown bear. Mr. Viner has admitted guilt in connection with the charges, and has paid a $3250 fine.
It is further alleged that Clark Dixon used and broadcasted video footage from these illegal hunts on the Noatak National Preserve for use on the hunting show, “The Syndicate,” without obtaining a permit from the Noatak Preserve for conducting a commercial operation. Citations from the National Park Service for conducting filming operations on the Noatak Preserve without a permit have been issued to The Outdoor Syndicate, LLC, Reno, Nevada, its owner, Michael P. Dianda, and an editing studio, Zap Lab, Ltd, Reno, Nevada. The citations were issued because Clark W. Dixon and another professional videographer acquired footage for, and used the footage on The Syndicate, without obtaining a permit to commercially film on the Preserve.
All individuals in the Syndicate investigation charged today have been charged in separate cases. The following is an identification key referencing the uncharged individuals referred to in each case.
Clark Dixon case – Individuals: A: Clarence Osborne, B: Charles Dixon, C: Randolph Goza
Charles Dixon case – Individuals A: Clarence Osborne, B: Clark Dixon C: Randolph Goza
Randy Goza case—Individuals A: Clark Dixon, B: Clarence Osborne, C: Charles Dixon,
D: Terry Goza
Terry Goza case – Individuals A: Randolph Goza, B: Clark Dixon
Michael Osborne case – Individuals A: Clark Dixon, B: Randolph Goza, C: Charles Dixon
Shannon Hooks case – Individuals A: Clark Dixon, Uncharged B: Charles Dixon
Lance Walker case – Individuals A: Clark Dixon, B: Charles Dixon
Fulton Wold case – Individual A: Clark Dixon
Arraignment dates have not been set. The multi-state investigation continues.
Ms. Loeffler commends the work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Law Enforcement, and the National Park Service who jointly investigated this case in Alaska and elsewhere.