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Juneau man indicted for illegal trafficking of bird and bear parts

FishHunter Charters operator has sentencing pending in another case

Posted: June 28, 2011 - 8:37pm  |  Updated: June 29, 2011 - 5:55am

A long-time Juneau charter boat operator and fishing guide was indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage on Monday for illegally trafficking bird and bear parts.

Michael Duby, 37, was named in a seven-count indictment. Counts 1-6 were for the illegal sale of migratory birds, with the other count alleging the sale of illegally taken bear.

Indictments are not convictions, rather a formal accusation of illegal activity.

According to the indictment, Duby’s allegedly illegal actions began in October 2007 and continued until June 2009 with the selling of migratory birds and bird parts on the Internet auction site eBay.

The various bird parts included black-billed magpie, American crow and common snipe. The birds are migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), which prohibits their sale either whole or by parts.

In February 2008, Duby was warned by eBay that his sales might be in violation of federal law. Duby allegedly continued to sell migratory birds on eBay from March 2008 through March 2009.

Duby is also alleged to have killed a bear in Juneau by hunting in an area closed to hunting, using bait without a permit and using light during the hunt, all violations of Alaska law. The indictment states Duby then sold portions of the bear’s hide to a Washington buyer.

In April 2011, Duby pleaded no contest to felony hunting charges in Montana. Duby, his 62-year-old father, Michael W. Duby of Arizona, and a friend, 42-year-old Jeffrey C. Fritz of Washington were charged with numerous poaching counts between 2004 and 2009 after investigations revealed the men allegedly illegally killed large game animals in Gallatin County.

The plea deal suggests a sentence of 20 years probation, $15,500 in fines and restitution and a prohibition against Duby ever hunting again. Sentencing in that case is set for Sept. 26.

In June 2003, Duby pleaded no contest to charges of taking a brown bear in a closed area, hunting for brown bear without a guide, unsworn falsification, unlawful possession of a black bear and false statements on three license applications. He was fined more than $5,000 and ordered to pay nearly $2,000 in restitution. He also forfeited his rifle and the bear hides and his hunting privileges were suspended for three years. The brown bear was shot on Admiralty Island.

Duby could not be reached by press time. A family member said he was on a late charter. Duby owns FishHunter Charters.

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at

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