Three men from the Lower Mainland have been fined after pleading guilty to charges relating to the wildlife act, following an incident last year along the Inland Island Highway (19).
Conservation Officer Gord Gudbranson said on Sept.11, 2013, a concerned citizen noticed suspicious behaviour from a group of hunters along the highway near Campbell River and called the RAPP line — a toll free tip line which allows people to report known or suspected violations of wildlife or environmental protection laws anonymously.
The trio was located quickly thanks to co-ordination between the Conservation Officer service and Campbell River RCMP. The three men were found to have a loaded firearm and were hunting alongside a highway corridor, while the season was not open.
Gundbranson noted the three men — Gang Shi, Guo Fang Zhu and Quang Vihn On — were charged with eight counts, including unlawful possession of dead wildlife, discharge of a firearm across a portion of a highway and possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
The first time offenders pleaded guilty Oct. 27 in Abbotsford provincial court and Shi was fined $5,000 and had his riffle forfeited. Zhu and On also pleaded guilty and were each fined $2,500.
Gundbranson credits the concerned citizen who informed the service, and quick action by police.
“It was definitely a team effort,” he added. “It’s generally hard to catch people in the act, and we’re very fortunate this member of the public saw the suspects and reported it to the RAPP number quickly.”
He encourages anyone who suspects environmental or wildlife violations to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277.