FAIRBANKS – An Alaska Wildlife Trooper has entered into an agreement with the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Alaska to resolve investigations into false and misleading statements he made to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2019.
According to the agreement and other court proceedings, Timothy Abbott, 39, of North Pole, Alaska, has agreed to permanently resign from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and to relinquish his law enforcement credentials based on conduct surrounding his personal acquisition and registration of an aircraft.
In November 2019, Abbott, then an Alaska Wildlife Trooper, submitted an application to the FAA to register a Kitfox Series 5 airplane. In the application, Abbott submitted a bill of sale to transfer the title of the aircraft to himself in exchange for $1.00 based on the signature of a previous owner of the aircraft, David Miller. Abbott falsely represented to the FAA that Miller had the authority to sell the aircraft. He did not disclose to the FAA that Miller had previously sold the aircraft to another individual more than 10 years ago and no longer had any personal ownership interest in the airplane. After Abbott removed the aircraft from its location at Clear Airport (PACL) Alaska, the actual owner of the aircraft contacted the Alaska State Troopers and reported the aircraft as stolen. During the investigation into the theft, Abbott contacted the Troopers and returned the aircraft to Clear Airport.
“Making false statements to a federal agency is against the law no matter who you are or who you work for,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson, District of Alaska. “There is no excuse for those who deceive federal regulators for the sake of personal gain. To anyone contemplating providing false information to a federal agency, know that the Justice Department will pursue the facts and hold you accountable.”
“We take any allegation of criminal wrongdoing by an Alaska Wildlife Trooper very seriously and will take appropriate steps to hold that Trooper accountable through the criminal justice system,” said Colonel Doug Massie, Director of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. “I would like to thank our partners at the FBI and US Attorney’s Office for their careful review of this case and bringing it to a resolution. We know that the public places a lot of trust in the Troopers that work across our great state. This was a very unfortunate incident, but the Alaska Department of Public Safety maintains a very high standard for our Alaska State and Wildlife Troopers and that includes conduct that takes place both on and off duty. We are committed to restoring any trust that was lost by the actions of this Trooper and working consistently to meet our mission of ensuring public safety and enforcing fish and wildlife laws.”
Abbott appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott A. Oravec and agreed to the terms of the agreement. If Abbott violates the agreement, he could face a felony conviction for making a false statement to the FAA, which carries up to three years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. If Abbott abides by the terms of the agreement, the United States has agreed to dismiss the charges against him.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Alaska State Troopers (AST) are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Tansey is prosecuting the case.