May 27, 2016, 12:08

British Columbia Woman Fined After Illegally Buying Bear Gallbladders

VANCOUVER — A Burnaby woman has been fined $5,200 after illegally buying bear gallbladders in an attempt to treat her severely-ill son’s seizures.

Yon Kim was sentenced on Tuesday for two counts of trafficking in bear gallbladders under the B.C. Wildlife Act in Port Coquitlam provincial court.

Det. Sgt. Darcy MacPhee of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service said Kim held a traditional belief that the bile contained in the gallbladders would help her adult son’s condition.

“He suffered pretty much constant seizures. He sounded like a very ill young man,” MacPhee said in an interview. “After she had treated her son with it, it had no effect. It did not help him.”

He said Kim was charged following a six-month investigation that began in October 2014. She pleaded guilty to the two charges in February.

MacPhee said the service began investigating Kim after she called a bear hunters’ association in Wyoming looking for bear gallbladders. The association alerted state authorities, who contacted officers in B.C. after learning she lived in the province.

He said the Conservation Officer Service launched an undercover operation in which officers met with Kim and another woman, Yunhee “Sarah” Kim, before ultimately selling them black bear parts in Merritt. The two women are not related.

Yon Kim also purchased gallbladders on another occasion in Coquitlam, MacPhee said.

Sarah Kim, an acupuncturist, was fined $22,400 in March after pleading guilty to seven charges related to trafficking in bear gallbladders and paws, as well as deer meat.

MacPhee said one reason that Sarah Kim’s fine was higher was because she prescribed bear bile to clients, while Yon Kim used the bile only in an effort to treat her severely-ill adult son.

He said conservation officers are extremely concerned about people buying wildlife parts for any reason and it can have a severe impact over time on animal populations.

MacPhee added that cases involving bear gallbladders are not rare.

“We’re pretty concerned. It definitely isn’t a once-in-a-while thing. It is a problem.”

Catching A Serial Poacher

Montana’s game wardens call them 1-percenters or lone wolves.

They are a category of poacher notoriously obsessed with trophy wildlife, driven and talented as hunters but with a disregard for game laws. No trespassing signs mean better hunting. Trophy units requiring special permits are simply where the big bucks and bulls live. It is a seeming addiction to not only pursue the biggest antlers, but also to the thrill of outwitting the law while doing so.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks regional investigator Bryan Golie studies what makes people continually kill big game animals illegally. After years of documenting commonalities in the field, interviews, prosecutions and talking to other wardens, Golie developed a portrait of a 1-percenter that he believes will help wardens catch them and save trophy wildlife.

Read this excellent article at the Helena Independent Record

Taypotat’s Appeal In Death of Saskatchewan Conservation Officer

Blaine Thomas Taypotat’s alcoholism is rooted in his abusive, dysfunctional childhood and should have been considered in that light when he was sentenced for driving drunk and killing a conservation officer, his lawyer argues.

Taypotat, 38, is serving a 9.5-year sentence for manslaughter in the death of Justin Knackstedt, who was helping to direct traffic at a collision scene south of Saskatoon when Taypotat struck and killed him.

Taypotat’s sentence appeal is scheduled to be heard Thursday by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal. His lawyer, Josephine de Whytell, is expected to argue that the sentencing judge didn’t properly consider Gladue factors, or systemic cultural factors affecting aboriginal offenders.

Read the story in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix


Illinois Department of Conservation Police Officer Hit By Vehicle.

Police say they have arrested a suspect who led police on a bistate car chase after hitting an Illinois Department of Conservation police officer near Litchfield.

The chase went on for about 60 miles, ending about 11:45 a.m. in north St. Louis County. A man, 32, is in custody.

The conservation officer, Matt Lentz, was taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to Chris Young, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Lentz was diagnosed with a leg and ankle strain and later released.


Georgie Hand Found Guilty For Kidnapping Colorado Officers

On Thursday, April 7, 2016, following eight days of trial, a Moffat County jury found Georgie Louise Hand guilty of two counts each of second degree kidnapping, aggravated robbery, disarming a peace officer, and menacing, as well as one count of third degree criminal trespass, for her role in taking Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Nathan Martinez and Moffat County Sheriff’s Deputy Bhrent Shock hostage at gunpoint on March 9, 2015 near Dinosaur, Colorado.  During the incident, her husband, James Damon, was killed in a struggle with the officers. 

Ms. Hand’s sentencing was set for June 13, 2016 at 10am in Moffat District Court.  The sentencing range for each second degree kidnapping conviction is 16 to 48 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.  The sentencing range for each aggravated robbery count is 10 to 32 years.  The sentences for each of the kidnapping and robbery convictions must be served consecutively, so the total sentencing range is a minimum of 52 years to a maximum of 160 years.  The disarming a peace officer and menacing charges range from 1 to 3 years in prison.  The third degree criminal trespass is a misdemeanor.

District Attorney Brett Barkey said, “We greatly appreciate the jury’s close attention and dedicated service in this difficult case.  The jury heard the harrowing testimony of the two officers each surprised at gunpoint, taken hostage, disarmed and made to sit.  Because the officers believed they were about to be executed, they fought back, killing Mr. Damon and taking Ms. Hand into custody.  The jury’s verdict appropriately holds Ms. Hand to account for the role she played in a situation which nearly cost the lives of these two officers.”


DA Barkey stated further, “We want to express our appreciation for the work of the 14th Judicial District Critical Incident Team and its member agencies that investigated and prosecuted this case including the Craig Police Department, Steamboat Springs Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation.  Thanks also to the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office and Rangely Police Department for being the first agencies to respond to this incident.”

Death of Retired Newfoundland/Labrador Conservation Officer Brent Cole

COLE, Brent.....Passed suddenly yet peacefully away at the HSC on April 2, 2016, Wayne (Brent) Cole age 51. Surrounded by his loving family and friends.
Brent Cole
Brent Cole
Retired Newfoundland/Labrador Conservation Officer Brent Cole, regimental #59,  has gone 10-35 for the last time.
It is with a heavy heart that we pass on the news of his death.  Brent succumbed to complications from his condition having been paralyzed from a moose/vehicle collision some years ago.
Brent was a long time NAWEOA supporter having served as the Region 3 Director on the NAWEOA board from 1998 thru 2001.  He has many friends among the NAWEOA family and will be sorely missed.  Obituary information will be posted once it has been received.  Please take a moment to say a prayer for Brent and his family.  
Brent loved the beauty of nature and had a unique appreciation for the finer elements in life. His truest blessings were his beloved wife Mary, his children, and his four precious grandchildren. He thrived for many years as a conservation officer and more recently embarked on a new journey as a writer. All who knew Brent will miss his warm, and approachable smile. He was an charismatic speaker but an even better listener. He will be sadly missed by all those he touched on his life journey. 
Cards to; 

The Cole Family
P.O. Box 541
Whitbourne, NL
Canada   A0B 3K0

Donations of flowers greatly accepted and monetary donations in his memory can be made to Spinal Cord Foundation, NL

Or donations on line at sci-nl.ca


Nebraska Butcher Sentenced After Defrauding Food Donation Program

Thomas Salistean left court after accepting the judge's decree: three years probation and restitution -- for felony theft by deception.  

The state said he claimed to have processed more daonted deer meat in his Ralston shop than actually came through, as part of a program providing food for families in need.

A state-managed charity reimbursed him for each donation, some of which the state alleges never existed. 

Undercover video of Van Fleet Meats, provided to KETV NewsWatch 7 after the sentencing, shows how investigators built their case. 

As an undercover investigator approaches the counter, Salistean notices the investigator's tags and asking if a man if he's done hunting. 

More plus a video of Levi Krause at KETV

Support the Ranger Relief Effort at the World Ranger Congress



The 8th World Ranger Congress will be held May 21-27, 2016, in Estes Park, Colorado, USA. It is being hosted by the U.S. Association of National Park Rangers. At the congress we will be operating a Ranger Relief effort to support our conservation colleagues in less developed countries. Most of these individuals are involved in intensive law enforcement efforts aimed at stopping wildlife poaching and other resource related crimes. Some of these rangers even have to operate in areas of open civil war.


At the congress we will be collecting used uniforms and small equipment which will be donated to the rangers in need. This will be a relatively small operation compared to others conducted in the past as the donations will be transported home in their personal belongings. We will be expecting significant numbers of rangers attending from less developed countries as we have arranged travel awards for them.


You do not need to be present to make a donation. Donations may be mailed to the congress site up to two weeks in advance. If you believe that you might have items that might be useful to these rangers in need, please go to:




Look at the “Support Ranger Relief” column on the homepage where you will find full details on what is needed by these rangers, how to register a donation, and where to ship it.


Thank you for supporting these rangers!


Einar Olsen

Ranger Relief Coordinator, 8th World Ranger Congress


Tel: 202.236.8774    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Texas inmate James Freeman

Texas Executes Suspected Poacher Who Shot, Killed Game Warden

A Texas man was executed Wednesday evening for fatally shooting a game warden nine years ago during a shootout after a 90-minute chase that began when he was suspected of poaching.

James Freeman, 35, was asked by the warden if he had a final statement. "No, I do not," he replied.

He was pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m., 16 minutes after Texas prison officials began a lethal dose of pentobarbital. As the pentobarbital began taking effect, he snored about five times and coughed slightly once.

Read the whole story at Fox News

Louisiana Man Shoots Louisiana Wildlife, Receives Three Life Terms

A Louisiana man has been sentenced to three life terms in prison without parole for shooting a Louisiana wildlife conservation officer.

According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Sgt. Scott Bullitt, 32, of Jonesboro, was shot in the back at the Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area in Ouachita Parish on May 21, 2015 by Luke Jarrod Hust, 29, of Monroe. Bullitt and another agent stopped a vehicle on Buckley Hill Road near the Wham Break Boat Launch at the Russell Sage Wildlife Management Area.  During the stop, Hust shot Sgt. Bullitt, fired at another agent, then ran into the woods.

Bullitt was taken to a hospital in Monroe. Hust was captured by agents a few hours later.

On Dec. 3, 2015, Hust was convicted of two counts of attempted first degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Bullitt, who has been on the force for over five years, is recovering and has not returned to active duty.