West coast clam bust - Madeira Park, British Columbia
Two men from Powell River, BC, were caught with 900 kilograms of illegally harvested clams and pinched for $2,450 in fines.
On May 27, 1997, Buddy Solowan, 28,and Dennis Paul Wilson, 24, plead guilty in court, to illegally harvesting clams during closed season and illegal possession of clams.Judge Shirley Giroday fined Solowan $1,700 and Wilson was fined $750.This was Solowan's third clam-related conviction.
The sentencing related to an incident on Feb.24, 1997, when federal fisheries officers received information that a red Chevrolet pick-up truck on board the Saltery Bay to Earls Cove Ferry had a load of clams in the back covered by a blue tarp.
With assistance from a B.C. conservation Officer, the suspect vehicle was stopped while proceeding southbound on Highway 101 (Sunshine Coast Highway). The driver was identified as Solowan. Wilson was a passenger. Officers observed sacks of clams in the back, partly covered by the tarp.
Both men were placed under arrest and the truck, along with 42 sacks of clams were placed under seizure.Neither of the men were licenced to harvest clams commercially or for sport.
The seized vehicle was returned following the conviction.
You can't fool forensics - Red Deer District
A Red Deer man must fork over a maximum penalty of $2,500 and sit out four years of hunting after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of wildlife in Red Deer provincial court on April 21.
Commissioner Susan Yake Phillippe heard the circumstances surrounding the case.
On Nov. 1, 1996, the Red Deer Natural Resources Service office received a call about a moose hanging in a shed at a residence in Red Deer. A Fish and Wildlife officer responded to inspect the carcass. He observed seven pieces of moose hanging in a shed and noted that the evidence of sex had been removed. The officer learned that Nicholas Pilote had killed the moose the previous day.
The officer left the residence with the intention of returning to discuss with Pilote, his failure to leave sex organs attached to the carcass.
The officer later received a call from an employee of a local business who reported moose parts in the company's dumpster.
The officer attended and observed two pieces of moose hide, a cow moose head, one moose hoof and meat scraps in the dumpster. He inspected the hide and located an arrow hole as well as a bullet hole.
On Oct. 31, 1996, the archery season for moose was open, but the rifle season was not.
The officer made the connection and recovered the evidence from the dumpster and returned to Pilote's residence to seize the moose parts from the shed.
Further investigation revealed that on Oct. 31, 1996, Pilote was hunting east of Stauffer store in Wildlife Management Unit 322 with two other individuals. They all assisted in gutting, loading, transporting and the eventual hanging of the carcass in the shed. At the time of the seizure, the tag affixed to the carcass corresponded with Pilote's moose licence.
Forensic analysis confirmed that the moose hide recovered from the dumpster was from the moose belonging to Pilote and that the moose had been shot with both a bullet and an arrow.
While explaining the circumstances to Commissioner Yake Phillippe, Crown Prosecutor Charlene Waines remarked Pilote's actions were not only illegal but unethical.
"This type of poaching activity only serves to upset landowners, infuriate hunters and foster anti-hunting sentiment," she said.