ANCHORAGE - A Nikiski man who misrepresented himself as an accomplished hunting and fishing guide and defrauded sportsmen was sentenced to two years in prison.
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Wally Dean Jackson Jr., 37, took clients on hunting and fishing trips and defrauded sportsmen out of $100,000 or more.
He was sentenced Friday to 11½ years in prison with all but two suspended. His hunting privileges were revoked for 10 years and his fishing privileges revoked for five. If he violates his 10-year probation, he could be ordered to serve the remaining time.
Troopers with the Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement called their investigation the most stupefying case of guiding fraud the state has seen. Jackson pleaded no contest to numerous counts including guiding without a license and scheming to defraud victims, some of whom he never met, even after they paid him.
"His woodsman savvy is zero, but he tells everyone he's second to Jim Bridger," Trooper Marc Cloward said after the sentencing, referring to the 19th century mountain man.
Jackson once took clients into the woods and they reported that he could not figure out the stove. He ended up dumping fuel on a flame.
"Mr. Jackson had no idea how to use the cook stove, and when he tried to, he set himself on fire," prosecutor Andrew Peterson told the judge. Clients extinguished the flames.
According to the state, Jackson once picked up an old pelvic bone from a moose and told clients it was a moose skull. Another time, Jackson met clients for a guided river trip and could not determine which end of the raft was the front.
In several cases, investigators said, Jackson brought clients to remote destinations and then left them, claiming his mother had a stroke or that there was a murder in the family. The clients made their own way back or sought assistance.
"He's lucky he didn't kill somebody, abandoning people in the field," Cloward said. "He's totally inexperienced and always biting off more than he could handle."