From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --
Two Togiak men face a series of charges -- from shooting federally protected walrus in a state santuary to wasting game to drunken driving -- after witnesses caught them on film earlier this month, troopers say.
Here's the trooper report issued this afternoon:
On 5/9/11 at approximately 5 p.m., King Salmon Alaska Wildlife Troopers was notified that state Fish and Game researchers stationed on Round Island within the Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary in Togiak Bay had observed two men in a skiff approach federally protected Pacific Walrus on the shore of Round Island, within the game sanctuary and begin firing upon a group of walrus at close range, killing one and seriously wounding at least 3 others.
The men then proceeded to remove only the ivory tusks of the dead animal before departing the area in the direction of Togiak Village. AWT and US Fish and Wildlife Service Officer's from King Salmon responded via aircraft to investigate.
AWT and USFWS met the skiff as it came ashore and contacted the two men, identified as Jessie Y. Arnariak, 47 years old, of Togiak, and Sixty M. Arkanakyak, 47 years old, of Togiak. Both men were observed to be intoxicated.
The operator of the skiff, Jessie Arnariak was subsequently arrested for DUI watercraft and resisted arrest but was taken into custody after a brief struggle.
During the struggle a container of alcohol fell from Arnariak's coat.
The second subject consented to a search of his backpack which revealed additional containers of alcohol. Jessie Arnariak was later transported to Dillingham and remanded on charges of DUI, Resisting Arrest, Importation of Alcohol, 3 separate violations of the Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary (A Misdemeanors), and Wanton Waste.
On 5/12/11 at 3:30 p.m., Troopers were able to respond to Round Island via helicopter and contact the ADF&G witnesses. Troopers recovered from the witnesses digital photographs showing most of the violation in progress, as well as video evidence.
At 8 p.m. the second suspect, Sixty M. Arkanakyak, was located in Togiak and served citations charging him with Importation of Alcohol, 3 counts of violating 5AAC 92.066, Wanton Waste, and MIW 4 with a mandatory court appearance in Dillingham on May 17th.
Additional State and Federal charges are possible against both subjects.
The arrests follow the recent indictment of a Glennallen couple accused of trafficking in walrus tusks and polar bear hides following a nine-month investigation.
If you'd like to talk to a reporter about poaching or the illegal trafficking of animal parts, email Kyle Hopkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.