16-MONTH UNDERCOVER OPERATION LEADS TO HIGH PENALTIES
Three individuals from the Muskoka region were convicted after a 16-month undercover operation by Ministry of Natural Resources investigators.
David Stock was convicted of possessing a firearm at night, hunting at night, hunting moose and bear during the closed season, having a loaded firearm in a vehicle, transporting wildlife illegally killed and selling walleye and moose. He was fined $5,000, given 30 days in jail and placed on probation for two years.
George Williams was convicted of possessing and transporting an illegally killed bear, selling whitetail deer and breaching a probation order he was on at the time of the offences. He was given a $4,100 fine, received a five-year hunting licence prohibition and was placed on two years probation.
Anthony Williams was convicted of having a loaded firearm in a vehicle, hunting whitetail deer during the closed season, possessing and transporting an illegally killed bear, possessing a bear gallbladder and breaching a probation order he was on during the period that some of the offences were committed. He was fined $2,500, received a two-year hunting licence prohibition and placed on probation for two years.
The court heard that between September 16, 2004, and December 1, 2005, undercover conservation officers investigated reports of illegal hunting activities and were sold fish and game meat contrary to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The officers were guided to hunt moose, deer and bear during the closed season.
The investigation led to eight people being charged with a variety of offences. Five of those charged pleaded guilty and their cases were heard in 2006. The investigation also led to charges being laid by the OPP against David Stock for firearm related offences which resulted in an earlier jail sentence and a lifetime prohibition against possessing firearms.
The case was heard by the Honourable Justice Harpur in Ontario Court of Justice, Barrie, on June 22, 2009