play lands trio in court: Lethbridge District
poachers who filled a motel freezer with illegally killed partridge,
walked away with $10,350 in fines and a two-year enforced holiday away
from their shotguns.
21, 2001, Judge Glen Morrison, handed down the high fines and license
suspensions to three Ontario residents in Lethbridge provincial court.
Latini (66), his brother Luigi Latini (68), and Vincenzo Grigano (68),
appeared in court to plead guilty to one count each for hunting without
a licence, hunting during a closed season, exceeding the possession
limit for game birds and hunting on occupied land without consent of
the landowner. Each man was fined a total of $3,000, plus a victim's
surcharge. In addition, each man was prohibited from hunting for two
began as a result of a Report A Poacher call to the Lethbridge district
Fish and Wildlife with information relating to unlawful hunting activity
in the Barons/Vulcan area. Officers attended the area and checked three
individuals who were hunting game birds near Barons. None of them were
properly licensed. Upon inspection of their rented van, officers discovered
10 grey partridge. Further inspection of the van revealed two hen pheasants
hidden inside a pair of rubber boots. The rubber boots were concealed
between a dog kennel and the wheel well in the cargo area of the van.
admitted to hunting in Alberta for the previous five days and claimed
to be in possession of 13 additional partridge. When asked where the
other birds were, the first claimed that they had eaten them, but later
said that they were being stored at a local service station in Vulcan.
officer in Vulcan was requested to provide assistance by confirming
their story. He attended the service station and learned that there
were no birds being stored on the premises. The Lethbridge officers
then cautioned the men about making false and misleading statements,
at which time they confessed that the birds were being stored at a motel
in Vulcan. The Vulcan officer attended the motel at which time the motel
manager produced six bags from a freezer in his residence. The officer
found 72 gray partridge and one hen pheasant in the bags.
officers then escorted the suspects to the Vulcan motel and seized a
total of 82 gray partridge, three hen pheasants and three shotguns.
The lawful gray partridge possession limit for the men was 30 birds.
There was no season for hen pheasants. Officers issued court appearance
documents to compel the men to appear in provincial court in Lethbridge
the following day.
handed down fines of $1,000 each for hunting without a licence; $850
each for hunting during a closed season; $150 each for hunting on occupied
land and $1,000 each for exceeding the possession limit. The charge
of unlawful possession of wildlife was withdrawn and the shotguns were
returned. All other items were forfeited to the crown.
killer gets jail time and big fine: Fort Vermilion District
who illegally killed double his quota of lynx, was trapping out of season
and leaving the wild cats to suffer in unchecked traps, failed to appear
at his trial and was granted no mercy by a Fort Vermilion judge.
Robert Currie, 42, was convicted in absence in Fort Vermilion provincial
court on Oct, 24. He was arrested and then sentenced the following day
in High Level. Judge Clark ordered that Currie serve six months in prison,
pay $25,000 in fines, be prohibited from trapping for 5 years and from
recreational hunting for 20 years.
turned bad for Currie last spring when Fish and conservation officers
received information from a confidential informant who reported that
while he was travelling on Currie's trapline on March 1, he had observed
several traps still set and found half eaten, dead, and live lynx in
them. Knowing that the trapping season was over, he reported the information
to the Fort Vermilion Fish and Wildlife office.
officers began the investigation with a visit to Currie's cabin near
Wood Buffalo National Park two days later. Currie appeared agitated
and claimed that he hadn't caught any lynx over the previous few days
or even within the past few weeks. Currie denied having any lynx in
his possession at all. After looking in the box of Currie's truck, an
estimated 30 to 40 lynx were found. Currie claimed that the lynx were
caught during the trapping season and became even more agitated. Most
of the lynx were whole and not yet skinned and some still had snare
cables attached to their paws. Officers determined that, based on the
size of Currie's trapline, his lynx quota was 54.
officers in Red Earth Creek were contacted to assist with the investigation,
and with their help, officers were able to determine that the exact
number of lynx that Currie had in his possession was 42. Further investigation
also revealed that Currie had already registered and sold a total of
60 lynx for that trapping year. The 60 animals, when added to the 42,
put Currie in possession of a total of 48 animals in excess of what
he was licenced to legally harvest: nearly double his quota.
As it was
suspected that Currie would be returning to his residence in Westlock,
officers in Athabasca were called in to assist with the investigation
by waiting to confront Currie as he arrived home with the lynx. Athabasca
officers stopped Currie at his residence. He was interviewed and admitted
to trapping out of season and to harvesting more lynx than his quota
allowed. Officers seized the 42 illegal lynx.
was convicted in Fort Vermilion provincial court despite the fact that
he failed to appear to answer to the charges. An ex parte trial was
held where all of the Crown's evidence was presented. Upon hearing the
details of the investigation, Judge Clark convicted Currie of hunting
during a closed season, unlawful possession of wildlife, hunting for
the purpose of trafficking, and failing to examine traps at specified
intervals. Sentencing was put over to the following day in High Level
offence of failing to appear in court, Judge Clark issued a warrant
for Currie's arrest. Moments after the trial had concluded, Currie was
observed outside of the courthouse. Currie was arrested and jailed to
await sentencing the following day.