Cache Creek man fined thousands of dollars for buying bear parts | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Cache Creek man fined thousands of dollars for buying bear parts

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO

KAMLOOPS - Illegally buying bear parts has become very expensive for a Cache Creek man.

Hong Hui Xie, 48, has been fined $18,000 for purchasing bear paws and gall bladders three times over a period of one year during an undercover operation by the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

The Cache Creek restaurant owner was approached by undercover officers in 2015 after another man they had targeted directed officers to Xie. That man has since pleaded guilty to trafficking bear parts.

Xie has lived in Canada for 25 years.

In Kamloops Provincial Court today, Nov. 20, Xie pleaded guilty to six counts of trafficking bear paws and gall bladders and trafficking in wildlife. Trafficking in this case is defined as the purchase of these parts.

Crown prosecutor Jim MacAulay told the court that Xie met with undercover officers on three different occasions between October 2015 and October 2016 – twice in 100 Mile House and once in Cache Creek.

The first time, on Oct. 27, 2015, officers met with Xie at a restaurant he worked at in 100 Mile House. The undercover officers opened their cooler and showed Xie one bear gallbladder and four paws. He ended up paying $300 for all of the parts.

Court heard Xie nodded when the officers warned him the transaction was illegal, and proceeded to put the bear parts in a nearby car.

Xie speaks almost no English, and a Cantonese interpreter appeared by phone in court to translate the proceedings today.

Xie told officers the gallbladders were for making soup and indicated he had more at home, estimating they were seven to eight grams each in size.

After the transaction Xie and the officers exchanged information. One of the officers texted Xie in January 2016.

“She offered to sell him gallbladders,” MacAulay said. “He indicated he was interested in the gallbladders.”

Xie asked for dried gallbladders and photographs of them and asked how much deer meat would cost.

A few days later they met with Xie again at the 100 Mile House restaurant, where officers brought him a cooler which had bear paws, gallbladders and 30 lbs. of deer meat. Xie took most of the items in the cooler and paid $500 for them. Court heard he told officers the deer meat was for his family and the gallbladders were for soup.

Officers pointed out again the transaction was illegal and Xie mentioned a case in the Lower Mainland where someone was facing fines of up to $200,000 for trafficking wildlife. Officers told him that’s why they didn’t want him to tell anyone.

In July of 2016, Xie and the officers started coordinating a potential meet up later in the summer. 

On Sept. 7, officers met Xie in Cache Creek where he had purchased and operated his own restaurant. They met in the parking lot and Xie paid $540 for two gallbladders and six paws. Xie had been acting nervously throughout the meeting with the officers.

“Once the deal was completed, Mr. Xie was arrested at the scene,” MacAulay said.

Defence lawyer Mitch Foster agreed with Crown’s position on sentencing, which measures out to $2,500 per count and another $3,000 to be paid to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Foster argued that Xie suffers from physical ailments which he has tried to treat through western medicine, but to no avail. He was hoping the soup he made with the bear gallbladders would offer some relief.

Crown never alleged Xie was using the parts for a commercial use.

Provincial Court Judge Roy Dickey agreed a total fine of $18,000 would be appropriate.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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