An Environment Canada Enforcement Blitz Leads to Convictions and Penalties against American Hunters
SASKATOON, SK -- November 6, 2008 -- A joint Canada-United States wildlife enforcement investigation has resulted in five American hunters pleading guilty in a Provincial Court in Melfort, Saskatchewan to 21 counts of violations under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.
The hunters were sentenced to pay fines totaling $22,500 for illegal waterfowl hunting in the Naicam and Melfort areas of Saskatchewan. The fines imposed by the court were allocated to the Environmental Damages Fund. This fund, administered by Environment Canada, provides courts with a way to ensure that financial penalties are directed to address environmental damages.
The convictions were a result of a year-long joint investigation led by Environment Canada and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Digital photos, seized during a 2007 border inspection blitz, were part of the evidence that allowed Environment Canada to lay numerous charges against the hunters. Violations included exceeding the daily bag limit, hunting after the bag limit was reached, exceeding possession limit for geese, and transport of migratory birds without a fully feathered wing.
John Edward Lockner of West Lakeland, Minnesota pleaded guilty to seven violations under the Migratory Birds Regulations and was assessed a fine of $7,500. Robert John Reem of Woodbury, Minnesota pleaded guilty to five violations and was assessed a fine of $6,000. Matthew John Reem of Woodbury, Minnesota pleaded guilty to five violations and was assessed a fine of $6,000. Adrian Darrell Marsden of Bayport, Minnesota pleaded guilty to two violations and was assessed a fine of $1,500. Patrick James Sweeney of Roseville, Minnesota pleaded guilty to two violations and was assessed a fine of $1,500. All hunters received hunting suspensions of two to three years and were ordered by the court to submit an article to a wildlife magazine detailing their violations and the fines assessed.
Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act 1994, Canada and the United States coordinate efforts to ensure long-term conservation of migratory bird populations. The maximum penalty on summary conviction for each violation under the legislation is $300,000 and/or six months in jail.
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Environment Canada Media Relations
For more information on Environment Canada’s Enforcement activities, please visit: www.ec.gc.ca/enforcement
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