Turtle poacher caught with endangered species

SARNIA, ON – A Toronto area man has been convicted of five charges for illegally possessing and transporting species at risk and game wildlife as well as illegally buying game wildlife and breaching a court order.

Pak Sun Chung, 56, received 106 days in jail and a lifetime ban from hunting or fishing for three offences under the provincial Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997.

Court was told that on August 23, 2007 Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers and Environment Canada game officers contacted Chung at a service centre. In his possession were 27 Blanding’s Turtles and one Spotted Turtle, both of which are specially protected species, two Snapping Turtles and 30 Bullfrogs, all alive, as well as a quartered white-tailed deer. It is illegal to capture or possess live specially protected wildlife such as Spotted and Blanding’s turtles without appropriate authorization.

At sentencing court heard that this was the second time in less than a month and a half that Chung had been arrested for illegal possession of specially protected turtles. On the first occasion, Chung had been arrested and remanded in custody for 14 days. He was subsequently bound by a court order prohibiting him from engaging in these activities.

Court also heard that Chung had 13 previous convictions for similar Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 offences including previous jail time and thousands of dollars in outstanding fines.

In addition to the provincial charges, Chung also received an additional nine months for two offences under the federal Species at Risk Act.

Justice Mark Hornblower heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Sarnia on August 4, 2009.

To report a natural resource violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

SOURCE: Ontario MNR

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