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GLENNALLEN, Alaska-The Glennallen couple, Jesse LeBoeuf, age 47, and Loretta Sternbach, age 52, were sentenced on Tuesday in federal court. The couple, along with Richard Weshenfelder, were indicted on charges of violations of the Lacy Act, conspiracy, as well as possession of, and trafficking in machine guns in April of this year.
By July, the couple pleaded guilty to charges. Leboeuf and Sternbach plead guilty to three counts of illegal wildlife trafficking and two counts involving weapons. Weshenfelder lead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate the Lacy Act.
Yesterday, in Federal Court, Judge Timothy Burgess sentenced LeBoeuf to nine years in prison and Sternbach was sentenced to 3 and a half years. Weshenfelder received three years probation for his part in the criminal activity. The lack of jail time for Weshenfelder reflected his limited role in the conspiracy.Lebouef’s sentence also reflected the fact that he was a felon in possession of firearms. When arrested he had a .22 caliber belt buckle on his person.
Although, when authorities searched their house in April, they found marijuana and coca plants, they were not charged for these offences. Although the judge took that evidence into consideration at their sentencing, as well as the past history of Leboeuf.
The charges that ultimately resulted in their sentencing stemmed from activities between 2010 and 2011. During that time frame, Leboeuf made trips to the community of Savoonga, on Saint Lawrence Island and traded snow machines, cigarettes and drugs to the villagers in exchange for approximately 500 pounds of Walrus tusks and two polar bear hides.
Lebouef and Sternbach also sold some of the ivory and machine guns to undercover agents.
The U.S. Attorney’s office declined to say if others in Savoonga would be charged with any wrond-doing, only saying that the investigation into the matter is continuing.