Steinbach conservation officers are reporting that a resident of Niverville has been charged and fined after being found guilty of violating the Wildlife Act. The investigation began in 2019.
Steinbach conservation officers began a multi-agency investigation into the fur-dealing activities of a resident of Niverville in 2019. Investigators gathered information suggesting the individual was illegally trafficking furs to locations across the world and failing to comply with provisions of the Wildlife Act.
A search warrant for social media communications between the dealer and a U.S. client uncovered information individuals were illegally buying furbearing animals (e.g., fisher and marten) from Manitoba trappers, and may also have been involved in illegal wolf, moose and caribou hunts in the area around South Indian Lake.
In October 2020, through a joint multi-agency operation, officers executed a search warrant at a Niverville residence and seized cellphones, computers, documents and an Arctic wolf pelt. Further investigation determined the individual had been involved in the killing of two moose out-of-season near South Indian Lake in January 2020, the killing and possession of a barren-ground caribou near South Indian Lake in March 2018, and fur dealing without a licence between Sept. 1, 2019, and Feb. 23, 2020.
Officers executed an additional search warrant at the residence, resulting in the seizure of illegally possessed barren-ground caribou antlers. Officers charged the individual with 23 violations of the Wildlife Act including killing big game during a prohibited time, possession of wildlife illegally taken, engaging in the business of trading furs without a licence, buying and selling wild animal parts without a licence and failure to submit transaction records.
On June 28, 2022, the individual pleaded guilty to six counts of violating the Wildlife Act and received a two-year hunting suspension, as well as $3,700 in fines and a $7,000 restitution order.
Anyone with information on illegal activity is asked to call the local Natural Resources and Northern Development office or the Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-782-0076 (toll-free).