Fugitive guide is arrested

Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage hunting guide on the lam since September was arrested Wednesday in Trapper Creek, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Tony Roberts, 38, fled Sept. 16 from his hunting camp west of Talkeetna as a trooper helicopter was closing in to arrest him on multiple charges following an undercover operation.

Troopers say they arrested Roberts without incident about 11 a.m Wednesday in a pickup truck driven by Brenda Butts, 37.

Investigators believe Roberts had been hiding with Butts and Randy Pate, 41, since shortly after he became a fugitive. Troopers got a tip recently that Roberts was in the home, according to trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson. With the help of federal agents, they staked out the house on Oil Well Road early Wednesday and waited for the three children of Butts and Pate to go to school.

When Butts and Roberts headed out in the truck, troopers followed. They arrested the pair at the Petersville Road intersection.

Butts was charged with hindering prosecution, a felony, and was booked into Mat-Su Pretrial Facility. Roberts was also being held there, on $60,500 bail, Wilkinson said. A warrant was issued for Pate, who was away from home working Wednesday.

Butts and Pate faces up to five years in prison a a $50,000 fine if they're convicted of harboring Roberts.

The potential prison term for Roberts ranges much higher. He was originally charged with 16 misdemeanors.

Troopers say Roberts represented himself as a registered guide even though he didn't hold a license and his own hunting privileges had been revoked. He drove two undercover agents to Trapper Creek even though his driving privileges were revoked, troopers said, then flew them to a remote airstrip, though he didn't have a pilot's license.

While he was guiding the two agents, he took a sublegal moose, troopers say, and he had illegal bait stations to draw grizzlies to the area near his camp. Plus troopers say he was involved in collecting bear gall bladders, which is illegal.

A charge of criminal non-support was added this spring. Prosecutors said Roberts had fallen more than $65,000 behind in child support payments to his ex-wife.

An Anchorage grand jury also charged him with giving his employer a false Social Security number to evade child support enforcement.

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