Skip to content

Fish and Wildlife hands down fines following 'major investigation'

Report a Poacher
A number of individuals have been fined following a major investigation that included areas in northeastern and central Alberta.

A number of locals have been found guilty of various Fish and Wildlife offences following a major investigation that involved a large portion of the province, including St. Paul and Smoky Lake areas.

According to information posted on Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement social media and later confirmed by a communications advisor with Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, "Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement recently concluded a major investigation that has resulted in $63,590 in total fines and 31 years of combined recreational hunting licence suspensions against 13 individuals."

The investigation began in 2017 when Stettler Fish and Wildlife officers found that a number of people were hunting with an indigenous person, who has a constitutionally protected right to hunt, in an effort to disguise their illegal activities.

"The offences occurred in different areas across central and eastern Alberta including Stettler, Brooks, Medicine Hat, Rimbey, St. Paul, Smoky Lake and Drumheller," said Ina Lucila, communications advisor with the Government of Alberta.

"In a number of cases, the wildlife that were harvested were either out of season or were hunted without the proper licences. This included elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, and antelope," reads the social media post.

Officers determined the meat of some of the illegally harvested trophy animals were also trafficked.

"In one case, an American from Kansas was also unlawfully guided on a moose and antelope hunt."

In 2019, a total of 13 individuals were found guilty of a number of Wildlife Act offences.

Donald Chornohus, from St. Paul, Alta., was found guilty of unlawful possession of wildlife, and given a $4,500 fine.

Tyler Dean Erickson, from Langdon, Alta., was found guilty of two counts of hunting without a licence (elk). He was fined $5,000 and had to forfeit a trophy antelope shoulder mount.

Shannon Orest Leskiw, of Spedden, Alta., was found guilty of four counts unlawful possession of wildlife (moose, elk, mule deer and antelope), three counts of hunting closed season (elk and antelope), and two counts of hunting without a licence (mule deer). He was fined $15,000 and given a five year judicial order prohibiting hunting or accompanying anyone hunting.

Natalie Lynn Leskiw, of Spedden, Alta., was found guilty of three counts of unlawful possession of wildlife (elk, moose and mule deer), three counts of hunting closed season (elk and antelope) and one count of hunting without a licence (mule deer). She was fined $5,000 and five year judicial order prohibiting hunting or accompanying anyone hunting.

Larry Lee, from Roeland Park, Kansas, USA, was found guilty of hunting wildlife during a closed season (antlered moose and trophy antelope) and hunting big game as a non-resident alien without an outfitter-guide. He was given a $6,000 fine and a four-year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Donald Mattila, from Eckville. Alta., was found guilty of unlawful possession of wildlife and was given a $600 fine.

Trent Morrison, from Two Hills. Alta., was found guilty of trafficking in wildlife and was given a $2,500 fine and three-year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Tristen Nixon, from Stettler, Alta., was found guilty of unlawful possession of wildlife (elk) and was given a $2,000 fine and one year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Greg Morrow, from Drumheller, Alta., was found guilty of hunting without a licence (antlered mule deer), and was given a $2,000 fine and one-year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Carmine Maglione, of Stettler, Alta., was found guilty of two counts of unlawful trafficking of wildlife (moose and elk), guiding for reward without a licence, and providing guiding services to a non-resident alien without an outfitter-guide permit. Maglione was given an $11,000 fine, a 15 year judicial order in which he is required to report all hunting activity including any wildlife he comes into possession of and six-year automatic recreational hunting licence suspension.

Lance Darryl Reszel, from St. Paul, Alta., was found guilty of hunting without a licence (antlered moose), using another licence (general white-tailed dear) and failing to immediately affix a tag (white-tailed deer). He was given a $7,500 fine and a three-year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Kimberly Reszel, from St. Paul, Alta., was found guilty of allowing another to use their licence (general white-tailed deer) and was fined $115 and given a one-year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Trevor Thomas, from Rosetown, Sask., was found guilty of trafficking in wildlife. He was given a $2,500 and three-year recreational hunting licence suspension.

"Lengthy and complex investigations such as this often requires collaboration between fish and wildlife officers and multiple other agencies. This investigation involved many Fish and Wildlife officers, Crown prosecutors, members of the RCMP, officers from Kansas Fish and Wildlife and the Saskatchewan Conservation Officer Service, as well as numerous other witnesses. We would like to take this opportunity to everyone who contributed to the successful conclusion of this file," reads the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement post.

"It is our hope that these significant fines serve as a strong deterrent to any would-be poachers."

Anyone with information about any wildlife or fishery violation is encouraged to call the 24-hour Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800, or online at the following link: https://www.alberta.ca/report-poacher.aspx. Callers can remain anonymous and could qualify for a reward.




Comments