Wildlife traffickers plead guilty after undercover investigation


Three men sentenced to pay fines totalling $42,555

Drying moose meat

Drying moose meat

On June 29, 2015, three men pleaded guilty in Edmonton Provincial Court to trafficking moose, elk and deer meat. While big game animals can be legally harvested by licensed hunters and First Nations people with treaty rights, buying and selling big game meat is illegal as the commercialization of our wildlife resources could endanger them.

Here’s a breakdown of the penalties that were handed down:

  • Edward Joseph L’Hirondelle of Redwater was convicted of two counts of trafficking in wildlife. He was fined a total of $6,900 and received a hunting licence suspension of six years and a judicial order to report all hunting activities for the next five years.
  • Harold Daniel L’Hirondelle of Marlboro was convicted of two counts of trafficking in wildlife. He was fined a total of $8, 415 and received a hunting licence suspension of six years and a judicial order to report all hunting activities for the next five years.
  • Norman Samuel L’Hirondelle of Edmonton was convicted of five counts of trafficking in wildlife. He was fined a total of $27,240 and received a hunting licence suspension of 15 years and a judicial order to report all hunting activities for the next 20 years.

The Special Investigations Section of our Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch has a dedicated unit of undercover officers who investigate wildlife trafficking throughout the province.

In this case, sources alleged that wildlife was being illegally bought and sold in the Lac Ste. Anne area of Alberta. Officers investigated these tips and ultimately launched an undercover operation targeting the identified suspects. On July 14, 2014, officers seized 322 packages of moose and elk meat, which is worth approximately $6,500 on the black market. Officers also seized $1,105 in cash. All was forfeited to the Crown during sentencing on June 30 2015.

Three other individuals were charged with trafficking violations under the Wildlife Act and are scheduled to appear in Stony Plain Provincial Court on July 8th.

Any unregulated trade in wildlife helps fuel black market demand, which could lead to increased poaching and pressure on animal populations. Any sale of wild animals should be treated as unlawful, but there are some exceptions. In addition, wildlife laws vary in each province and country. Contact your nearest Alberta Fish and Wildlife District Office toll-free at 310-0000 to speak to a Fish and Wildlife officer.

Anyone with information about any wildlife or fishery violations is encouraged to call the 24-hour Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800. Callers can remain anonymous and could qualify for a reward.

Bags of dried moose meat

Bags of dried moose meat

This entry was posted in Fish and Wildlife, Law Enforcement and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Wildlife traffickers plead guilty after undercover investigation

  1. Bill says:

    Another great investigation by Alberta’s Fish and Wildlife Special Investigations Section!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s