Rogue Makah hunters indicted on federal charges

Five members of the Makah Nation of Washington were indicted on Thursday for illegally killing a gray whale.

The five men were charged in federal court with conspiracy, unlawful taking of a marine mammal, and unauthorized whaling. They could each face up to one year in jail and a $100,000 fine.

The unauthorized hunt took place on September 8. The tribe swiftly condemned the act and vowed to punish those who were involved.

But news of the federal indictment worried tribal leaders who were told the U.S. Attorney's Office of Western Washington would defer to the tribal justice system. The tribe could order the men to serve up to one year in jail and could impose other types of punishment not available in the federal system.

Get the Story:
Five Makah whalers charged (The Seattle Times 10/5)
Makah tribal members indicted in whale hunt (The Seattle Post-intelligencer 10/5)
Five Makah who killed whale indicted by federal grand jury (The Peninsula Daily News 10/5)

Relevant Documents:
Tribal Council Statement | Makah Tribal Whale Hunt | Marine Mammal Protection Act

Court Decisions:
Anderson v. Evans (June 7, 2004) | Anderson v. Evans (December 20, 2002)

Relevant Links:
Makah Nation - http://www.makah.com

Related Stories:
Federal probe into Makah whale hunt ongoing (09/18)
Editorial: Makah Nation must punish rogue hunters (9/14)
Letters: Readers discuss illegal Makah whale hunt (9/14)
Makah leaders hopeful after Washington meetings (9/13)
Column: Makah Nation shouldn't hunt whales (9/13)
Makah Nation hires former Slade Gorton aide (9/12)
Editorial: Illegal hunt may be last for Makah Nation (9/12)
Unauthorized hunt likely to delay action on permit (9/11)
Editorial: Makah Nation reacts swiftly to rogue hunt (9/11)
Editorial: Illegal whale hunters must be punished (9/11)
Makah Nation blasts unauthorized whale hunt (9/10)
Makah Nation to discuss rogue hunt on Capitol Hill (9/10)
Russian Natives, Makah Nation share culture, whales (10/25)
Appeals court shoots down Makah whaling case (06/08)
Makah Nation marks fifth year since first whale hunt (05/17)
Tribes and U.S. seek review of whale hunt ruling (03/14)
Opinion: Makah Nation whale hunt is not legal (02/12)
Makah whale hunt faces another review (12/23)
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U.S. pushes for whaling rights (6/10)
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