Ten people now face 323 charges in a disturbing poaching case in northern Alberta, the province announced Thursday.
Fish and Wildlife officers launched an investigation in November, 2013 after the carcasses of 36 animals – including 26 deer, five moose, four elk and one black bear – were found shot near Edson. Their bodies were left to waste.
Tips from the public helped hunt down persons of interest. Interviews were conducted. Search warrants were issued. And, evidence was sent to the RCMP for analysis as well as a private firearms forensic lab in Saskatchewan.
“I want to thank everyone who helped conclude this investigation by calling in tips. Poaching is a significant crime in Alberta and charges like these show how serious we are about protecting our province’s fish and wildlife resources,” Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, said in a statement.
Derek Ronald Brown, Colton Jesse Campbell, Michaela Frances Scott, Devan Thomas Dozorec and Tiffany Brown – all young adults – have been charged under the Wildlife Act with 204 offences. The charges include hunting out of season, hunting while drunk, using a vehicle to hurt or kill an animal, hunting without a licence and hunting after dark.
Three other individuals face 99 charges, but since 50 relate to alleged offences while they were under the age of 18, they cannot be named in Canada. The other 49 charges related to alleged offences that occurred after their 18th birthdays. Two other people have been charged as youths.
All are set to appear in Edson Provincial Court on August 5.
See the full list of charges and offences here.
Photos Alberta Justice and Solicitor General/Flickr