Tribal charge dismissed against Makah whalers

NEAH BAY — One charge in Makah Tribal Court against five men who killed a whale in an unauthorized hunt last September has been dismissed.

The charge of violating the Makah whale management plan was dropped last week, said Jack Fiander, the attorney for one of the defendants, Wayne Johnson.

The five-year plan had expired in 2002, he said.

Said Johnson, “It was obsolete . . . and it was just a plan. It can be changed from time to time.

“It was nothing concrete.”

Johnson and the other four Makah men — Andy Noel, Frankie Gonzales, Theron Parker and William Secor Sr. — still face tribal charges of violating state and federal law and reckless endangerment.

The whalers had faced the possibility of one-year jail sentences and $5,000 fines.

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