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Theft charge against Iditarod musher Jason Mackey dropped

  • Author: Tegan Hanlon
  • Updated: November 1, 2017
  • Published November 1, 2017

Jason Mackey at the Iditarod Musher Drawing Banquet before the start of the 2017 race. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)

Longtime musher Jason Mackey said he dropped off four brand-new dog kennels at another musher's home Tuesday to replace the ones he was accused of stealing.

In response, the assistant district attorney in Nome dropped Mackey's third-degree theft charge, a misdemeanor.

"The state and the victim requested the defendant return the dog kennels at issue numerous times before charges in the above captioned case were filed," said the court document for the dismissal signed by the assistant district attorney, Tom Jamgochian, and filed in district court Tuesday.

"Since filing charges, the defendant has returned four dog kennels," the document said.

Mackey, 45, had been charged with theft and accused of stealing four kennels from the dog lot in Nome after he finished the 2017 Iditarod.

In an interview Tuesday, Mackey maintained he did not steal any kennels. He said his dog handlers took two crates that were battered and left in a snowbank.

But the musher missing four kennels, Alan Eischens, said otherwise. The kennels were not broken, nor were they left in a snowbank, said Eischens' wife, Tanjala, in an interview last week. Four kennels were taken, not two, she said.

Eischens could not immediately be reached Wednesday morning.

Mackey, the younger brother of four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey, said he lost his main sponsor over the theft charge. He dropped out of the 2018 Iditarod last week.

"I would just like to apologize to my parents and the rest of the Mackey family for having the Mackey name in the paper for such a bogus charge," he said.

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