ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Palmer taxidermist was arrested Tuesday and accused of illegally selling Alaska big game trophies to undercover state Fish and Wildlife Protection investigators.
Shawn McCrary, owner of Adventures North Taxidermy, was charged with five counts of criminal sale of an Alaska big game trophy, a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for each count is one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
McCrary denies the charges.
According to Alaska State Troopers, McCrary sold bison, caribou, mountain goat, brown bear and wolf mounts to investigators posing as Seattle restaurateurs. After the sale was complete, troopers arrested McCrary. He was freed on $5,000 bail.
It is illegal to buy, sell or barter any prepared big game trophies without a permit from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
McCrary was back in his store Wednesday. He said he did not break the law because the animals he sold were not mounted before the investigators approached him.
''We're standing with our heads high and we're going to fight Fish and Wildlife all the way on this,'' McCrary said.
McCrary had already acquired the animals before communicating with the undercover officers, and some had already been mounted, said Lt. Franco D'Angelo, commander of the Wildlife Investigations Bureau.
The troopers began their investigation after receiving a tip that McCrary was offering trophies for sale over the Internet, D'Angelo said.
Investigators contacted McCrary via the Internet about six weeks ago, he said.
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