Included below are two concluded court cases from the "online" officer's notebook. If you would like to read all the wildlife and fisheries investigations and the final outcome of the court cases be sure to pick up your Alberta Game Warden magazine at your favorite bookstore. Or better yet, purchase a yearly subscription so you won't miss an issue.

Commercial fisher fined $20K: Cold Lake District 

A Cold Lake man appeared in St. Paul provincial court to plead guilty to four counts under the Fisheries (Alberta) Act. On Jun. 28, 2004 Timothy Lefebvre, 34, pled guilty to: 
• two counts of marketing fish to a person operating a retail or wholesale outlet other than the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, 
• one count of buying or selling fish caught under the authority of a licence without authorization for selling fish, and, 
• one count of being a shipper of fish, did fail to prepare a complete statement for each transaction as required. 
As a result, Lefebvre was assessed a $20,000 fine. Lefebvre’s guilty pleas were in relation to the unauthorized sale of fish and inadequate record keeping. The court heard that as a result of these transactions there was no remittance paid to the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation. Honourable Judge L.J. Burgess commented, “I think it is probably more accurate to describe it as, in effect, a theft from the government because he was not paying what amounts to a tax to the government as a result of these transactions.” The defence argued that Lefebvre legally caught the fish and just sold them to individuals he was not supposed to. The court made note that the transactions were not as serious as the type of bootlegging seen in Operation Kool-Aid, however, Lefebvre still profited from the sale of fish. In the end, Judge Burgess stated, “People have to know that there are serious consequences for engaging in these kinds of activities.”

The poacher's path leads to the courtroom: Stettler District 

On Nov. 15, 2003 an officer received information of an individual hunting on occupied land without consent of the owner. Although the allegation was not proven, it ignited a second investigation that led to $9,300 in fines and 13 years of recreational hunting licence suspensions. On Nov. 15, 2003 officers attended the residence of Roy Frank, 26, and located a head of a freshly killed mule deer buck in the back of his vehicle. When officers made inquiries, Frank indicated that while he and his father-in-law, John MaCarthur, 56, of Stettler were hunting they came across the freshly killed, gutted and untagged carcass of the deer. Wanting the head, they cut it off and left the carcass behind. The officer seized the head from Frank and the following day attended the scene. After gathering evidence from the site, it became evident that the story Frank and MaCarthur had given was not true and they were likely responsible for killing the deer. A bullet that was removed from the carcass was later determined to be of the same caliber as the firearm used by Frank. On Nov. 29, 2003 Frank and MaCarthur were stopped while hunting, at which time the officer seized two firearms that could have been used in the killing of the deer. Both men denied any involvement in killing the mule deer. Later that same evening, wildlife officers received information that Frank and his brother George Frank Jr., 29, had gone out hunting on Nov. 28, 2003 and shot and killed a cow moose near Big Valley. Frank and his brother George Jr. did not have a licence for the moose so they contacted Neil Martin, 66, of Stettler, who is a status Indian, to cover the moose. Martin attended with Frank and George Jr. and also provided them with his treaty card number so the moose could be delivered to a butcher for processing. Over the next few months officers continued with the investigation. Officers located the head and hide of the moose that the Frank's killed and a spent bullet was retrieved from the head. Bullets from the mule deer and moose were sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon. The lab reported that the bullets from the mule deer and the moose had been fired from the firearm seized from Roy Frank. Search warrants were executed at two residences and the illegal moose was recovered. A DNA comparison of the moose meat with the head and hide was initiated. In another statement in February 2004, MaCarthur indicated that while separated from Roy Frank, Frank shot and killed the mule deer. MaCarthur and Frank concocted the story about finding the deer after Fish and Wildlife officers began their investigation. After being confronted with this allegation, Frank continued to deny his involvement. Although Martin's statements were to the contrary, Frank also denied any involvement in killing the moose. During the investigation it was learned that Frank had only recently moved to Alberta. Officers found that Frank had not met the Alberta requirements as a first time hunter and, as a result, a white-tailed deer licence he possessed was void and the white-tailed deer he shot was done so without a licence. In June 2004, MaCarthur and Martin appeared in Stettler  provincial court. MaCarthur pled guilty to unlawful possession of wildlife, allowing the flesh of big game to be wasted and willfully providing false and misleading information to a wildlife officer. MaCarthur was fined $1,500 and had his recreational hunting licence suspended for one year. Martin pled guilty to unlawful possession of wildlife and was fined $800. On Aug. 12, 2004 Roy Frank and his brother George Frank appeared in Stettler provincial court. Roy entered guilty pleas to two counts of hunting wildlife without a licence, allowing the edible flesh of big game to be wasted, willfully providing false and misleading information to a wildlife officer and obtaining a licence while being ineligible. As a result, Roy was handed $4,500 in fines and a nine-year recreational hunting licence suspension. George Jr. pled guilty to hunting wildlife without a licence, unlawful possession of wildlife and was assessed $2,500 in fines and a three-year recreational hunting licence suspension. A fourth party was scheduled to appear in November, 2004.

We invite wildlife and fisheries enforcement officers from all jurisdictions to submit current and significant cases for inclusion in The Notebook segment of the publication. All details must be accurate public record. Please send case file details and photographs to:

Jason Hanson
5201 - 50 Avenue
Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada T9A 0S7