Santa Maria Man Charged with Shooting Elephant Seal

Santa Maria Man Charged with Shooting Elephant Seal title=
Jordan Gerbich Mugshot from 2017 Arrest (Courtesy Santa Maria Police Department)
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By edhat staff

A 30-year-old Santa Maria man has been charged with fatally shooting a northern elephant seal near San Simeon.

Jordan Gerbich, 30, is charged in an information with one count of taking a marine mammal. An information contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime, according to the Department of Justice.

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.

In September 2019, the corpse of a northern elephant seal was found on a beach near San Simeon close to a popular viewing area along California Highway 1 where visitors can observe elephant seals. The animal had been shot in the head. Gerbich is charged with fatally shooting the mammal on September 28, 2019.

If convicted of the misdemeanor offense alleged in the information, Gerbich would face a statutory maximum sentence of one year in federal prison.

Gerbich was also arrested in November 2017 by Santa Maria Police for possession of materials to make a destructive device or explosive.

Four months earlier, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Bomb Squad responded to the 300 block of W. Betteravia Road in Santa Maria for a report of an explosion. Officials discovered a homemade bomb had been detonated. There were no injuries and the damage was minor. 

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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a-1598396941 Aug 25, 2020 04:09 PM
Santa Maria Man Charged with Shooting Elephant Seal

PitMix - We had some scuzzy neighbors many years ago who were dealing drugs, shooting guns in their back yard, and killing raptors to cut off and collect their feet and wings. Although they were convicted of all those things, word was that the DFW (and probably federal) charges for the raptor killings carried the stiffest penalties.

PitMix Aug 26, 2020 07:52 AM
Santa Maria Man Charged with Shooting Elephant Seal

Here's the penalties I can find, if it is his first offense it is highly unlikely he would get the maxes; It carries civil penalties of up to $28,520 per count, a year in prison, criminal fines, and forfeiture of vessels or vehicles involved.

RHS Aug 26, 2020 06:47 PM
Santa Maria Man Charged with Shooting Elephant Seal

PATH does not "graduate" people with some sort of stamp that they are not going to be problematic. I dare say that UCSB and Westmont have their share of former inmates who screwed up. Somehow attributing this man's apparent transgression to those who are trying to help is sick.

Yeti Aug 26, 2020 09:14 AM
Santa Maria Man Charged with Shooting Elephant Seal

Talk about a guy that looks the part,almost like he was typecast genetically to perform absolutely stupid illegal acts. Murdering protected marine mammals and blowing up explosive devices in residential neighborhoods could possibly qualify him for the Darwin Awards. This could actually be his sole lifetime achievement. Good for him. He has my vote!

RHS Aug 26, 2020 10:24 AM
Santa Maria Man Charged with Shooting Elephant Seal

What is going on with the censors. Was it the quote: "For if one link in nature's chain might be losst, another might be lost, until the whole of things will vanish piecemeal." Thomas Jefferson. Ore, are no comments mentioning the Trump family allowed? Clearly we have them defending and even pushing Trophy Hunting of endangered species. Why isn't it fair to think that this dude was only doing what they encourage?

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