September 12, 2013 - 2:54 PM
KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops man caught with an illegal dead moose was handed $2,500 in fines and ordered to pay $5,000 to a non-profit charity geared at bettering B.C. fish, wildlife and habitats.
"These are serious offences for which you have been convicted," said Kamloops provincial court Judge Stephen Harrison today during sentencing.
Waldemar Sancewicz was found guilty in July of unlawful possession of dead wildlife and making a false statement to an officer after being randomly pulled over for an alcohol screening check-stop in Dec. 9, 2011.
Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan alleged Sancewicz, a hunter of 15 to 20 years, paid Rolland Johnson to come along for the ride to pick up the moose near Westsyde, intending to abuse his aboriginal hunting rights if caught.
However defence lawyer, Matt Ford said the circumstances were actually the other way around, and that Sancewicz was actually helping Johnson as a favour to his boss.
RCMP testimony led to Harrison's decision to find Sancewicz guilty on both counts.
"Offences such as this are notoriously hard to detect and successfully prosecute," Harrison said during sentencing today.
This case was no different and could have slipped by as well had the police officer who pulled over Sancewicz not been experienced working in conservation and as a hunter, noticing fur on Sancewicz's vehicle and leading to the discovery of the moose.
The Crown said sentencing in this case could set precedence for hunters because of the 'honour' of the sport. Flanagan asked Harrison to consider a global fine in the range of $8,000 to $10,000.
Harrison said Sancewicz also undermined respect for aboriginal hunting rights, further compounding the offence.
He was concerned about deterring Sancewicz, an experienced hunter with multiple convictions already under his belt under for violating the Wildlife Act. The RCMP officer who arrested him said Sancewicz told him he could deal with potential fines over the matter.
"The offender well knew the law and weighed the benefits," Harrison said. "The Crown also raised the calculated and considered ways in which the offences were committed."
Sancewicz was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 for the unlawful possession of dead wildlife charge and $1,500 for the making a false statement to an officer charge. He was also ordered to pay a total of $5,000 combined for the two offences to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013