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Nampa man fined, banned for guiding illegal Alaska hunts

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Grizzly Bear. (Stock Image)

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An Idaho man who illegally guided bear and moose hunts in Alaska was fined $20,000 and ordered never to hunt in the state again.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason on Wednesday also ordered Paul Silvis, 52, of Nampa, to serve six months of home confinement, to be followed by five years of supervised release, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Silvis in October pleaded guilty to two felony violations of the Lacey Act, the law that bans illegal wildlife trafficking, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder said in the announcement.

Silvis from 2009 to 2016 repeatedly violated state and federal law by providing guided hunts in the Noatak National Preserve in northwest Alaska, prosecutors said. The preserve covers 10,265 square miles (26,586 kilometers) and protects the nation's largest unaltered river basin and watershed.

Silvis was motivated by financial gain, Schroder said. Silvis received about $121,500 by illegally selling and providing guide services. Hunts he guided killed seven brown bears and a moose.

Non-resident hunters after brown bears in the Noatak Preserve must contract with a licensed big game guide, possess state permits and buy big game tags.

Silvis advertised his unlicensed guiding services under the name "Orion Outfitters," prosecutors said. In September 2013 and September 2014, prosecutors said, Silvis guided illegal hunts for other residents of Idaho who did not carry appropriate big game tags.

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Silvis transported illegally taken game across state lines and submitted false business records to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to conceal the illegal take, prosecutors said.

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