Former Santa Maria Resident Admits to Killing Elephant Seal

Former Santa Maria Resident Admits to Killing Elephant Seal title=
Jordan Gerbich Mugshot from 2017 Arrest (Courtesy Santa Maria Police Department)
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Source: Department of Justice

A one-time resident of Santa Barbara County pleaded guilty today to a federal criminal charge for fatally shooting an elephant seal on a beach near San Simeon.

Jordan Gerbich, 30, formerly of Santa Maria, now a resident of Utah, pleaded guilty via videoconference to a single-count information charging him with taking a marine mammal.

Gerbich admitted in his plea agreement that he drove to an elephant seal viewing area adjacent to the Piedras Blancas Marine Reserve and Monterey Bay National Marine sanctuary near San Simeon on September 28, 2019. Gerbich brought a .45-caliber pistol and, aided with a flashlight, used the firearm to shoot and kill a northern elephant seal. The next day, the elephant seal was discovered on the beach with a bullet hole in its head.

Northern elephant seals are a protected species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They live up and down North America’s Pacific coast and haul out on land in areas called rookeries. These rookeries are typically populated with elephant seals year-round, but populations vary throughout the year based on breeding and molting cycles.

United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer has scheduled an April 12, 2021 sentencing hearing, at which time Gerbich will face a statutory maximum sentence of one year in federal prison.

This matter was investigated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement with substantial assistance provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Heather C. Gorman of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section.

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Roger Dec 22, 2020 08:16 AM
Former Santa Maria Resident Admits to Killing Elephant Seal

This guy was in rehab here years ago and a volunteer in one of our thrift stores he was a nice guy. I remember him talking about going back to Santa Maria to see his family never saw him again as he went off the wagon. Some people are really nice clean and sober but real assholes when using, or drinking.

a-1608660109 Dec 22, 2020 10:01 AM
Former Santa Maria Resident Admits to Killing Elephant Seal

Executing an innocent animal goes far, far beyond addiction issues. 99% of addicts manage to not commit violent crimes. This guy is bad news. I really don't care if he's a nice guy most of the time, so are serial killers.

LoveMySB Dec 22, 2020 10:29 AM
Former Santa Maria Resident Admits to Killing Elephant Seal

What a disgusting human being. Why if he pleaded guilty already does it take until April 2021 to sentence this jerk? He should be in prison now. Probably won't be in Utah by the sentencing date unless he has a tracker on him which doesn't guarantee he will be around. No weapons for the rest of his life.

a-1608790424 Dec 23, 2020 10:13 PM
Former Santa Maria Resident Admits to Killing Elephant Seal

@rubaiyat - I'm certainly no vegetarian or animal rights enthusiast, but what the hell is up with people thinking that the unethical treatment of dogs used for meat is somehow worse than the abhorrent treatment of "acceptable" livestock that most Americans contribute to every single day? Pigs and chickens are just as (if not more so) intelligent and lovable as dogs...

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