Crime Scene

This is a blog dedicated to the general topic of crime and crime prevention in Alaska. We will post crime-related stories and other relevant items as we come across them. The Daily News encourages community engagement and discussion of issues of crime and criminal justice. Comments are not edited and will be posted immediately. We know that stories about crime often provoke strong reactions, but we insist that you keep your comments on point, use good taste and show courtesy toward other writers. Posts that violate the Terms of Use will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned from adn.com. When presenting factual information, take care that it is accurate and cite and/or link to sources where appropriate.

Omnipresent police spokesman Dave Parker calling it quits - 11/12/2012 5:35 pm

Officers 'shoot to stop,' not 'shoot to kill,' police say - 7/10/2012 12:46 pm

This week in the Unalaska police blotter: We found your beer can & wallet - 6/13/2012 11:37 am

Q&A: Police shoot, kill man in Mountain View - 6/12/2012 10:33 pm

Police: Woman threw gas on roommate in arson killing - 6/9/2012 10:46 pm

Side character takes center stage in militia trial - 6/7/2012 1:37 pm

Cox gets choked up over evidence tape, returns to stand - 6/6/2012 1:32 pm

Man punches wife, shoots his SUV, goes to jail - 6/6/2012 12:37 pm

Trio charged in scheme to sell walrus tusks, polar bear hides

From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

Three people have been charged in a scheme to illegally buy polar bear hides and hundreds of pounds of walrus tusks from the St. Lawrence Island village of Savoonga and market them online.

A federal grand jury has indicted: Jesse Joseph Leboeuf (a.k.a. Wayne Gerrard Christian), 47, Loretta Audrey Sternbach, 52, both of Glennallen, and Richard Blake Weshenfelder, 50.

All are from Glennallen, according to the indictment. The trio was scheduled to appear in federal court today in Anchorage.

Prosecutors also accuse Leboeuf and Sternbach of selling a fully automatic machine gun to an undercover agent in December 2010, and selling a fully automatic machine gun with a silencer to an undercover agent in February 2011.

On Tuesday authorities found “numerous firearms,” including a machine gun, along with more than 30 marijuana plants, coca plants, stolen art and hundreds of pounds of walrus ivory at Leboeuf and Sternbach’s home in Glennallen.

Just before his arrest, Leboeuf exited the home and "fired a shot," according to the Department of Justice.

Prosecutors say Leboeuf and Sternbach paid for walrus ivory and polar bear hides with money or in trade for guns, ammunition, marijuana, cigarettes and snowmachines. They made two trips to Savoonga in July and August of 2010, buying more than 500 pounds of walrus tusks, the indictment says.

Weshenfelder marketed the tusks online and contacted potential buyers, the indictment says.

Among the charges in the 10-count indictment, the trio is accused of illegally selling and transporting about 230 pounds of tusks valued at about $22,000 and two polar bear hides for $2,700 to a non-Alaska Native buyer between September and March.

The charges include:

-- One count of felony conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act.
-- Six counts of Lacey Act violations.
-- One count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
-- One count of illegal possession of a machine gun.
-- One count of possession of an unregistered machine gun.

Read the Department of Justice news release here.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

© Copyright 2011, The Anchorage Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service