Santa Maria Man Charged with Shooting Elephant Seal

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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Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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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