Skagway Man Indicted on 10 Counts of Lacy Act Violations

Skagway man, 67-year-old James Terrance Williams, owner of Inside Passage Arts is the target of a 10-count federal indictment it was revealed on Friday morning.

According to U.S. Attorney Byran Schoder, Williams was indicted by a federal grand jury for Lacey Act violations of smuggling walrus ivory into the U.S., sales of smuggled walrus ivory, and false labeling.

It is illegal to export or import walrus ivory out of or into the United States without the proper permit.

Schroder stated in a press release Friday morning that in October 2014 and March 2016, “Williams illegally exported raw, unworked, walrus ivory tusks from Alaska to Indonesia for carving. He would then smuggle the carved walrus ivory back into the United States, disguising the illegal nature of the transportation by falsification of records, all in furtherance of illegal sales of the ivory.”

According to the federal indictment, Williams, during the years 2014, 2015, and 2016 sold carved walrus ivory as merchandise knowing it had been illegally brought in to the U.S. from a foreign country and falsified records to cover up that fact.

If convicted of the offenses, Williams faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement.