NC: Asheville judge rejects entrapment in bear poaching case
May 29, 2014
ASHEVILLE – A judge ruled Thursday that it will be up to a jury
to decide if undercover officers entrapped hunters charged with
violating federal wildlife laws.
Judge Martin Reidinger
rejected a defense motion to dismiss indictments against seven men
charged in Operation Something Bruin, which targeted bear poaching
and other wildlife violations in Western North Carolina and northern
Seven defendants face trial for alleged violations
of the federal Lacey Act, which makes it a crime to possess or
transport wildlife taken in violation of hunting regulations. The
judge set the trial for the Sept. 2 term. Many violations
involved guides using baiting and other illegal means of helping
clients find and kill bears.
Posing as hunters and using
social media to make contacts, North Carolina and Georgia wildlife
officers infiltrated groups suspected of poaching. But it was the
undercover officers who actually shot and killed some of the
illegally taken bears, Russell McLean, an attorney for some of the
defendants, said in a motion to dismiss for entrapment.
hunters shot bears out of season, transported the animals in their
trucks and hunted at night, and searches of their residences turned
up barrels of chocolate used as bait, prosecutors said.
men facing trial in September are Jerry Parker, Brock Parker, Walter
Stancil, Chad Crisp, David Crisp, Mitchell Jenkins and Robert
Authorities said 81 people were arrested in
connection with Operation Something Bruin in February 2013 and
charged them with 980 violations. Some defendants pleaded guilty and
others had their cases handled in state court.
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