$31,500 in fines for illegal hunting and licence violations
Two Michigan men have been fined a total of $31,500 and received a one-year bear hunting licence suspension for several offences under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
Terry Lewis Ball of Barbeau and Bryce Clark of Sault Ste. Marie were convicted of illegally hunting several species of wildlife, falsely portraying themselves as Ontario residents to acquire hunting licences and exporting illegal wildlife into the United States.
Ball was fined $18,000 for making false statements in a document, unlawfully exporting wildlife, possessing void bear, moose, deer and fishing licences, possessing more than one deer licence, and hunting deer without a licence.
Clark was fined $13,500 for making a false statement in a document, unlawfully exporting wildlife into the United States, possessing void bear, moose and deer licences, possessing more than one deer licence, and hunting deer without a licence.
Court heard that between 2009 and 2011, Ball and Clark had been using a fraudulent Ontario address to acquire Ontario resident hunting licences and using those licences to illegally hunt wildlife.
Some of the wildlife had been exported into the United States.
These illegal activities were the subject of a two-year joint investigation involving conservation officers from Ontario and Michigan, agents with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Canada Border Services Agency and United States Customs and Border Protection Service.
The investigation involved the execution of search warrants in the United States.
Justice of the Peace Paula Nichols heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Sault Ste. Marie, on December 6, 2012.
The Ministry of Natural Resources reminds hunters that to qualify for an Ontario resident hunting or fishing licence, a person must reside six out of the previous 12 months in Ontario and have a primary address in the province.
The ministry also advises that the export of illegally taken fish or wildlife into the United States constitutes a violation of the United States Lacey Act.
To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours.
You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).