Jul 29, 2016, 7:49
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Elk poaching suspect arrested after year-long investigation

RENO — Game wardens have arrested a suspect in the illegal killing and waste of a bull elk in an August 2015 case from Lincoln County that challenged investigators and provided few clues.

Zackry Holdaway, 26, of Cedar City, Utah was arrested Saturday by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, and he was released Monday on $10,500 bail.

Holdaway faces multiple criminal charges in Nevada, including felony big game poaching; a gross misdemeanor for possession of an illegally killed big game animal; and three misdemeanors for trespassing, using a spotlight to shoot the animal, and wanton waste of a game animal. Read More at the Elko Daily Free Press

Wyoming Game Warden Travis Crane

Wyoming Game Warden Recalls ‘Mind Boggling’ Poaching Case

The case that still boggles Cody game warden Travis Crane’s mind involved a drive-by animal shooting, a false confession, people hauling game meat out of state in the middle of the night and surveillance in the dark.

There were so many moving parts and so many twists that it easily could be the plot of an hour-long TV show, even without commercials.

When it comes to his greatest hits, Crane thinks first of that incident.

“That was probably the most bizarre case I’ve been on,” he said.

Read the whole story at the Cody Enterprise

Tanzania Uses Dogs to Catch Ivory Smugglers

The government of Tanzania has gone to the dogs in its effort to stop the flow of ivory taken from elephants.

This spring four Belgian Malinois, Kyra-K, Messi, Yana and Max-Z, began patrolling the Julius Nyerere International Airport and the Port of Dar es Salaam, looking for smuggled goods.

The four dogs are part of the world’s first canine detection team trained specifically to sniff out illegal wildlife products in shipping cargo and airport luggage. Officials are hoping they will help take a bite out of the illicit ivory trade.

The dogs and their Tanzanian handlers completed a 10-week course at the United States Customs and Border Protection’s canine training center in El Paso, Tex., and a follow-up course in Tanzania. The Belgian Malinois were chosen for, among other things, their ability to work in extreme heat.

Tanzania’s elephant population is shrinking fast. The country had 43,000 elephants in 2014, down from about 110,000 in 2009, according to the latest available government figures. Tanzania and several other African countries have seen a rise in poaching of ivory tusks by well-armed criminal gangs that have pushed some wildlife species near extinction.

Globally, the trade in illegal wildlife is estimated to be about $20 billion a year. Many of the products, like ivory and rhino horns, end up in Asian countries, where they are used as ornaments or in traditional medicine.

The Tanzanian authorities reported breaking up a decades-old ivory smuggling ring with the arrest last October of Yan Feng Glan, a Chinese woman known as the Ivory Queen, as well as a ring of poachers led by a rogue Tanzanian intelligence officer in February.

Police bodycams 'filmed officers using toilet' claims lawsuit against "offensive and voyeuristic intrusion"

Police officers are launching a legal case against their employers - alleging their privacy was breached when bodycams recorded footage of them using the toilet.

Body cameras became standard issue in the force last September with the intention of filming incidents including traffic stops and dealings with the public.

But now some police in the village of Round Lake Park, Illinois, have claimed that, instead of being switched on to record these moments alone, the cameras were actually rolling constantly.

According to court papers, 10 officers are claiming the cameras gathered "highly offensive and voyeuristic intrusions", reports the Chicago Tribune.

Read the whole story here; http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/police-bodycams-filmed-officers-using-8307561

Illinois Conservation Police Officer

Illinois Conservation Police Patrols in Jeopardy

The lack of a state budget may hinder Illinois Conservation Police from monitoring outdoor recreational activities this summer.

The State Journal-Register (http://bit.ly/28SFGvK ) reports that Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesman Tim Schweizer said the department intends to have officers available this summer but he called on Democratic legislative leaders to approve a stopgap budget to ensure adequate enforcement.

Schweizer said the conservation police are concerned about how to keep boat patrols going.

Read the whole story at http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article85070252.html


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article85070252.html#storylink=cpy
Hippos seem to enjoy sunbathing on a river bank at the Maasai Mara.

Eight Tanzanian poachers arrested in Maasai Mara

Eight poachers from Tanzania were on Thursday arrested by Narok county rangers in the Maasai Mara national game reserve.

The eight were part of an 11-man gang that had killed a hippopotamus and a waterbuck in the Game Reserve.

Mara triangle assistant game warden Joseph Kipirir told the Star that the rangers, were on their normal patrol when they spotted the poachers near governors camp.

"We are still carrying out investigations to establish their mission. They were armed with spears and knives and were skinning the animals when we arrested them’’ said Kipirir.

Read the whole story at http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/06/23/eight-tanzanian-poachers-arrested-in-maasai-mara_c1374665

When a family-owned mink farm in Illinois was attacked by animal rights extremists in 2013, 2,000 minks were released from their cages and a barn was spray-painted with the words “Liberation is Love.”

Animal Rights Extremists

On an August night in 2013, a family-owned mink farm in Morris, Illinois came under attack. Approximately 2,000 minks were released from their cages, an acidic substance was poured over two trucks parked on the property, and a sign spray-painted on the barn declared, “Liberation is Love.”

Some 24 hours later, when a police officer from nearby Roanoke, Illinois pulled over a car without license plates, he had no idea that the two young men inside were responsible for the earlier crime.

When the men’s stories didn’t add up about why they were driving a vehicle with no license plates or temporary tags, or what they were doing late at night on that deserted, rural road, the officer became suspicious. A search of the trunk revealed some curious items: books about terrorism and surveillance techniques, ski masks, and bolt cutters. The pair also had police scanners in the car, manually programmed to receive the frequencies of local police departments.

Kevin Johnson and Tyler Lang, both from California, were taken into custody for possessing burglary tools, and when it was later learned that the men were animal rights activists, the local authorities alerted the FBI.

“These two individuals were known animal rights extremists,” said Special Agent Maureen Mazzola, who specializes in domestic terrorism matters and investigated the case from the FBI’s Chicago Division. “We also knew they were based in California. The fact that they were pulled over in Illinois, 90 miles from the mink release that occurred the previous night, and that they were only a few miles away from a fox farm,” she added, “was too much of a coincidence.”

The subsequent investigation resulted in the pair being federally indicted in 2014 for damaging and interfering with the mink farm operations and conspiring to do the same thing to the Roanoke fox farm. Two other individuals—friends of Johnson and Lang—have been charged in connection with a spree of similar incidents in the summer of 2013. Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane are accused of terrorizing the fur industry, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages by freeing minks and destroying breeding records in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Mazzola noted that most animal rights advocates don’t believe criminal activity is the way to obtain their goals. But for those few in the movement who support extremist ideology, “they feel that the only way to deal with companies and people involved in what they perceive as animal cruelty is to hit them with some type of criminal act,” she said. “They believe that legal protests are not enough and will never be enough.”

As a result of such crimes, in 2006 Congress passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, strengthening an existing statute and allowing the Department of Justice greater authority to target animal rights extremists. The law also offers more protections to those involved in animal research or who work in the animal industry—the usual victims of animal rights extremists.

Last year, Johnson, 28, pled guilty to the charges against him and was sentenced in February 2016 to three years in prison. Lang, 27, who also pled guilty last year, was sentenced in March to six months of home confinement. In February 2016, Buddenberg and Kissane both pled guilty in San Diego federal court to conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. They are awaiting sentencing.

The owners of the Illinois mink farm, meanwhile, lost everything when their farm was vandalized, and many of the minks died. “The farm was the primary source of the owner’s retirement and was how he supported his family,” Mazzola said. “Everything they had was tied up in the business.”

Wardens on Wheels 10th Annual Motorcycle Rally

The weekend of August 12-14 will mark the 10th Annual Wardens on Wheels motorcycle rally.  The rally takes place at the International Peace Gardens, home of the North American Game Warden Museum. The Peace Gardens are located on the North Dakota/Manitoba border. The weekend events include a Friday night supper and socializing at nearby Lake Metigoshe State Park. Saturday morning we hold a meeting at the Museum then head out on a poker run.  We end the day with a cook out, prizes and more time to socialize and visit old and new friends. More information can be found at the web site:  http://wardensonwheels.blogspot.ca/search?updated-min=2016-01-01T00:00:00-07:00&updated-max=2017-01-01T00:00:00-07:00&max-results=3    

The re-shaping of Idaho's Fish and Game Department

Idaho voters over the years have had a hand in reshaping or founding several important state agencies, from the Department of Water Resources to the reapportionment commission. But the Department of Fish & Game may be the most voter-impacted of all.

The dispute ongoing now, involving two Fish & Game commissioners — Mark Doerr of Kimberly and Will Naillon of Challis — who were not reappointed by Gov. Butch Otter, makes for a direct reflection on some of that.

Idaho has had fishing and hunting rules since its early territorial days; the first were set in 1864, banning big game hunting for a period from February to July. But those rules were on the honor system. No one enforced fish or game law until after statehood, when in 1899 the Fish & Game Department was first created and a game warden was hired. (Maybe there’s an indicator here: Idaho is among the states referring to “game” in its agency name, while most other nearby states, such as Washington, Oregon, California, Montana and Utah, refer to “wildlife”.)

Read the whole story at the Idaho Press-Tribune

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Encounter Convicted Felon in Possession AK-47 Assault Weapon

On Sunday, May 15, 2016, the Lacey Township Police Department led a multi-agency task force covering in excess of 60 square miles of rural wooded area in Lacey Township and Ocean Township within Ocean County. The focus of the detail was on the detection and deterrence of criminal activity, trespassing, and off-road vehicle violations in the Pinelands and on private property. The task force was made up of law enforcement officers from the Lacey Township Police Department with the assistance of the Ocean Township Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, the New Jersey State Park Police, and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.

At approximately 1:05 p.m., on Sunday, May 15, 2016, a patrol team from the task force, made up of the above agencies and led by Lacey Police Sergeant Paul Sullivan, Jr, and Lacey Police Senior Officer Michael Eden, observed a suspicious vehicle within the wooded area in Lacey Township. The vehicle was a 2007, Hyundai Tucson which was pulled off of the path and into the woods on Bryant Road in Lacey Township within the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area. Upon further investigation, the task force officers located two individuals in the wooded area approximately 100 yards from the parked vehicle. One subject, identified as Bruce J. Post, 3rd, was wearing combat gear and gave indications of possible white-supremacist involvement. Upon speaking with the two subjects and determining their activities to be suspicious, the officers then discovered an AK-47, a Walther P38 9mm handgun, eight 30-round high-capacity magazines, and one 100-round drum magazine, and various forms of ammunition at the scene within the woods. Officers arrested 42-year-old Bruce J. Post, 3rd of Exton Avenue in Trenton (Hamilton), NJ for several criminal offenses. He was transported to the Lacey Township Police Department for processing. The second individual, identified as a 38-year-old male from Trenton (Hamilton), NJ, was detained at the scene and not arrested as the investigation continued.