Criminal law issues were at the top of the agenda for ALO in April. Its been a while since ALO had a jury trial in Dillingham, so the Tony Poulsen case was a welcome change. Names are not always used in these reports, but Tony is the kind of client who kindly agreed his name could be used here. He also indicated he is a regular reader of the ALO monthly news.
Tony is a classic Bristol Bay fisherman. He lives in Togiak where he has spent most of his adult life. He is consistently the high boat in the Togiak fishery. He hunts, sport fishes, and collects firewood. He loves being outdoors. He likes to drink beer. One problem - he lives in a dry town. Tony has drawn the attention of law enforcement for that problem. Recently he was charged with importing alcohol into Togiak after state troopers seized a small amount of booze from a duffel bag at the Dillingham airport, checked for Togiak. Earlier they had seen Tony directing a pilot which bags to load into a van for a trip to the airport, and the airline company later opened one of those bags and alerted the troopers.
At the trial, the trooper testified that the booze belonged to Tony because he had exercised control over the bag. No one seemed to remember that Tony was traveling with others at the time, and no one saw who checked the bag. The trooper acknowledged that the offending bag had a baggage sticker with a name on it, and believed it was Tony's name, although he failed to note that in his report or take a photo. He described the tag correctly, and noted that he eventually sent the bag to Tony using another tag stapled to the original tag.
Tony of course saved the tag from the bag that was sent to him by the troopers, because it had someone else's name on it. At the appropriate time, the tag was shown to the trooper in front of the jury, at which point the trooper said he couldn't be sure it was the same tag he had earlier observed.
He did admit that he should have taken a picture of the original tag. The jury made quick work of the case after ordering dinner, and Tony and his lawyer enjoyed a beer in Dillingham to celebrate.
That wasn't the only win for ALO in April. In Bethel, a grand jury indicted a young man for felony assault on a police officer, which carried with it a stiff mandatory sentence. The defendant hired another local firm, which proved to be a mistake. The firm, which advertises heavily in the Bethel market, failed to notice many substantial problems with the evidence which should have been raised months ago. After getting the case, ALO filed this motion
which resulted in a dismissal days later.
While many readers of this page prefer the non-legal part of the monthly news, these papers should be read by anyone who adheres to the notion that police can do no wrong.
Of course, not all of April was devoted to work. A long plane ride to Kotzebue provided a chance to see the end of the Kobuk 440. Bethel racer Pete Kaiser became the first person from this area to win that race, and he did so convincingly. That capped a dandy racing season for him, and for the Bethel area. Long streaks of good weather were common this year, and training conditions were excellent. The Dog Farm season is over, with dogs parked in their summer home. Race manager Casie Stockdale is in her last month in that position for the K300, and will no longer be the main dog helper either. She moved to a "real job" at AVCP where she counts fish, or some such thing. She seems to be adjusting well to starting work at 8 am instead of mid morning.
Former Bethel guy Bob Rearden never told anyone that he once belonged to the Irish mafia in Montana, but this picture seems to confirm that he did.
Bob Rearden a few years ago
Finally, another nod to Alaska’s former governor. For those who still support her, you belong to an exclusive club of Palin supporters, like this guy.