Posted on Wed, Nov. 24, 2004
Hunters in 2002 called wildlife officials after they
realized a pilot was using his plane to chase deer -- and that led to other
BY MICHAEL PEARCE
The Wichita Eagle
A Scott City rancher paid the final portion of $104,000 in
fines for illegal hunting tactics and other wildlife-related crimes Tuesday
in U.S. District Court in Topeka.
It's the largest penalty for wildlife-related crimes in
Kansas, according to Kenny Kessler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special
Dwight Krebs, 51, paid $15,000 Tuesday in restitution to
the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.
In September, he paid $89,000 in U.S. District Court in
Wichita for the return of a 1993 Piper Super Cub confiscated last March.
"I'm glad it's all over. It's been a very expensive lesson
and a very stressful time," Krebs said Tuesday afternoon. "I'm
glad to finally put it all behind me and move on."
Among charges filed against Krebs was illegal use of an
airplane to spot and harass game, and the illegal use of vehicles and
two-way radios while hunting.
Kessler said the case stemmed from tips from local
sportsmen in 2002.
"They called KDWP and complained about a yellow airplane
they thought was chasing deer," Kessler said. "They referred the
information to us, and we started a joint investigation."
Undercover agents from the Fish and Wildlife Service and
Wildlife and Parks booked hunts with Krebs' guide service on his ranch in
Logan and Gove counties during the 2003 firearms deer season.
Helping Krebs with the guiding was Jim Jenkins. As well as
illegal use of vehicles and radios, Jenkins illegally put his own deer
permit on a buck shot by one of the agents.
Several of the crimes led to the illegal transport of game
across state lines, which is a federal violation.
In addition to the $104,000 in fines, Krebs was placed on
three years' supervised probation, making it illegal for him to participate
in any hunting or shooting activity.
Jenkins was forced to forfeit a hunting rifle and was
given two months of home confinement, in addition to the same probationary
sentence as Krebs.
Krebs and Jenkins were cooperative throughout the
investigation, Kessler said.
Though the case was prosecuted by federal officers,
Wildlife and Parks officials are pleased with their contribution and the
"This shows how the system really should work," said Kevin
Jones, Wildlife and Parks director of law enforcement.
"It started with people in the local community becoming
concerned and getting involved, then we worked with federal agents to bring
the pair to justice.
"Everybody contributed their fair share."