Idaho Man Indicted for Guiding Without a License in Noatak Preserve and Filing False Hunting Documents
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Paul Silvas, 51, resident of Nampa, Idaho, has been charged in a four-count indictment with multiple felony Lacey Act violations.
According to the indictment, Silvas violated the Lacey Act by illegally guiding, filing false state of Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) hunt records in order to conceal the illegal take of brown bears and to conceal illegally guided hunts, along with transporting illegally taken game across state lines.
The indictment alleges that, on Sept. 5, and Sept. 12, 2014, as well as Sept. 25, 2013, within the Noatak National Preserve, Silvas knowingly guided illegal hunts for other residents of Idaho that did not possess the appropriate permits. In order to lawfully hunt brown bears within the Noatak National Preserve, a non-resident hunter would be required to have contracted with a licensed big game guide, possess the appropriate ADFG draw permits as well as purchasing the appropriate big game tags from ADFG. Silvas was neither a licensed big game guide, nor did he nor any of his clients possess the appropriate big game tags.
If convicted, Silvas faces a maximum of up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000 for each count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The National Park Service (NPS) and the Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Steven E. Skrocki.
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.