Three Makah whalers plead guilty for illegal hunt

Three members of the Makah Nation of Washington pleaded guilty for hunting a gray whale without a federal permit.

Frankie Gonzales, Theron Parker and William Secor Sr. pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They are due to be sentenced to probation and community service on June 6.

Two other men, Wayne Johnson and Andrew Noel, refused a plea agreement. They were angered this week when federal prosecutors said they would bar the men from hunting while on probation.

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan for the Western District of Washington took the no-whaling condition off the table. But Johnson and Noel said they would rather go to trial than trust the government.

"It's principle and mistrust," Johnson told The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Get the Story:
Three rogue whalers plead guilty; others to stand trial (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 3/28)
3 Makah whalers accept plea deal (The Seattle Times 3/28)
Three of five Makah whalers plead guilty; two head to trial (AP 3/28)

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 -

Related Stories:
Column: Respect Makah Nation's hunting rights (3/26)
Editorial: Put an end to Makah Nation whale hunts (3/26)
Makah whalers reject plea deal for illegal hunt (3/25)
Makah whaling case set for trial in two courts (03/17)
Judge reduces charges in Makah whaling case (2/20)
Federal court delays trial for unauthorized whalers (01/25)
Opinion: Makah Nation shouldn't hunt whales (1/22)
Makah Nation delays trial for unauthorized hunt (1/21)
Makah chairman confident of tribe's return to whaling (1/14)
Makah whalers plead not guilty for illegal hunt (12/12)
Makah Nation charges five for unauthorized hunt (11/27)
Rogue Makah whalers seek delay in federal trial (11/12)
Editorial: Makah hunters to pay price for illegal hunt (10/8)
Rogue Makah hunters indicted on federal charges (10/5)
Opinion: Makah Nation has treaty right to hunt (10/5)
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)