Crime & Courts

Alaska wildlife trooper to resign in plea deal for providing false information about plane purchase to FAA

An Alaska wildlife trooper will resign from the law enforcement agency as part of a plea agreement on a federal charge for falsifying plane registration documents.

Timothy Abbott, 39, was charged last month with making a false statement to obtain Federal Aviation Administration registration.

Abbott, a wildlife trooper from North Pole, had submitted an FAA registration application for a Kitfox plane in November 2019, a pretrial diversion agreement for the case said. The application included a bill of sale signed by a previous owner who was the last registered owner of the plane, the agreement said.

The previous owner had also signed a purchase agreement that said he sold the plane about 15 years ago, the agreement said. The newer purchase agreement transferred ownership to Abbott in exchange for $1, according to the diversion agreement. The previous owner did not have authority to sell the plane because it had already been sold, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska.

Abbott knew the plane had been sold to another man, who never registered the aircraft, but did not disclose that in the registration application, the diversion agreement said.

Abbott removed the plane from its location at Clear Airport Alaska, and the plane’s true owner reported it as stolen to troopers, the statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“During the investigation into the theft, Abbott contacted the troopers and returned the aircraft to Clear Airport,” the statement said.

Abbott was ordered to complete a pretrial diversion program and will relinquish his law enforcement officer certification and credentials, the agreement said. If he successfully completes diversion, the federal charge will be dismissed, according to the agreement. The agreement was accepted by a judge Monday.

In a statement, Col. Doug Massie, the director of Alaska Wildlife Troopers, said allegations of wrongdoing by a trooper are taken seriously.

“We know that the public places a lot of trust in the Troopers that work across our great state,” he said in the statement. “This was a very unfortunate incident, but the Alaska Department of Public Safety maintains a very high standard for our Alaska State and Wildlife Troopers and that includes conduct that takes place both on and off duty.”