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Nenana Artist Sentenced for Dealing Animal Parts
A Nenana artist has been sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he dealt in walrus tusks, eagle feathers and other parts of federally protected animals.
ANCHORAGE- A Nenana artist has been sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to charges that he dealt in walrus tusks, eagle feathers and other parts of federally protected animals.
61-year-old Miles W. Martin also must surrender more than 900 pounds of wildlife parts and pay a fine of $6,750.
Prosecutors said an undercover investigation revealed that he shipped such items all over the world.
In letters to Martin's sentencing judge, Nenana residents and the Interior Alaska town's mayor described Martin as an upstanding member of their community, an artist who made jewelry and knives and helped teach kids.
But Martin was also apparently connected to a Glennallen couple currently serving time in prison for selling walrus ivory and machine guns. His plea agreement suggests he worked with the couple in 2010 and 2011 to buy illegal walrus tusks and other walrus parts in Savoonga, a village on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea.
Prosecutors say Martin is not Alaska Native. Under federal law, Alaska Natives are allowed to sell some wildlife parts that are turned into artwork, such as scrimshaw teeth and tusks.