Big-game guide with history of illegal hunts found guilty of violations

A man who troopers say has operated illegally as a big-game hunting guide in Alaska since the mid-1990s was found guilty last week on two charges and is still awaiting trial on three felonies and about 30 misdemeanors.

An Anchorage jury convicted Michael A. "Tony" Roberts, 51, of criminal mischief in the third degree and violating conditions of his release, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Alaska State Troopers.

Roberts will be sentenced in February, a trooper spokeswoman said.

Last week's two-day trial was Roberts' second in five months. In June, a Palmer jury convicted him of unlawful possession of illegal game and numerous counts of flying without a pilot's license. He was sentenced to 520 days in jail with 180 days suspended, fined $5,000, ordered to forfeit a Cessna 206 and placed on five years of probation.

The Cessna is the third plane the state has seized from Roberts, who twice since 1999 has been the subject of a manhunt.

In October of last year, while out on bail on charges that he guided without a guiding license, flew without a pilot's license and drove without a driver's license, Roberts used a grinder to saw off his ankle bracelet, troopers say. He was found about a week later, hiding under a bed in Big Lake.

In 1999-2000, Roberts eluded troopers for nearly a year. He fled at the sight of a trooper helicopter while on an illagal hunt near Talkeetna, according to testimony at his 2000 sentencing for guiding without a license, same-day airborne hunting, unlawful possession or transportation of game and putting false information on game tags.

Anchorage Daily News /