MN: Serial poacher barred from hunting "big game" anywhere in U.S. for 5 years
May 13, 2014
A 17-year serial poacher from Minnesota was sentenced in federal
court today after pleading guilty to a Lacey Act violation for
transporting wildlife that was unlawfully taken in violation of
federal law. In October 2013, William Robert Welsh, age 41 of
St. Cloud, Minnesota pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge.
In October of 2011, Welsh shot and killed a deer in the closed area
of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. The following day, Welsh
sawed off the deer’s antlers and transported them to his residence,
leaving the remainder of the carcass in the field. Welsh later
transported the antlers and other evidence to another person’s
residence and instructed them to hide the items.
barred from hunting “big game” anywhere in the United States for
five years, banned from entering Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge
for five years and forfeits his seized firearm and hunting
equipment, along with trophy deer mounts and antlers from seven
illegally taken deer. Welsh is also on two years of probation and
100 hours of community service, and banned from hunting small game
during that time.
“This investigation revealed at least a
decade of egregious poaching on the refuge and other areas
throughout the state,” explained U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Zone
Law Enforcement Officer Brent Taylor.
During an interview in
December 2011, Welsh told investigators that, in 1998, while his
hunting license was revoked, he hunted using his wife’s deer license
and killed a deer and tagged it using his wife’s deer tag.
The investigative team discovered that Welsh illegally killed eight
white-tailed deer in the closed area of the refuge from 2006 to
2011. Welsh also admitted to killing three other deer off the
refuge in violation of state law near St. Cloud, Minnesota.
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