5 March 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – A fishing boat captain was sentenced today to two months in federal prison for shooting at California sea lions last fall while his boat was off the coast of Catalina Island.
John Gary Woodrum, 38, of Harbor City, was sentenced by United States District Judge John F. Walter, who ordered Woodrum to immediately pay a $5,000 fine. Judge Walter additionally ordered Woodrum to perform 250 hours of community service at the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro.
During today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Walter also placed Woodrum on probation for one year, and he warned Woodrum that any violation of the terms of his probation would likely lead to additional time in jail.
Woodrum pleaded guilty in January to two misdemeanor counts of attempting to kill a marine mammal. By pleading guilty, Woodrum admitted that he used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot at California sea lions on October 13 and November 8 of 2004.
California sea lions are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
In a plea agreement file in January, Woodrum agreed to serve 60 days in jail. Woodrum admitted in the plea agreement that his conduct constituted misconduct under the terms and requirements of his merchant mariners license administered by the United States Coast Guard. In return for his admissions, the United States Coast Guard has agreed to suspend Woodrum’s merchant mariners license for a period to run concurrently with his prison sentence.
This case was investigated by the California Department of Fish and Game; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries, Office of Law Enforcement; and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Joe Johns