Wildlife trafficking earns B.C. man minimum $2,500 fine | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wildlife trafficking earns B.C. man minimum $2,500 fine

A Similkameen man was fined $2,500 in Penticton court today, March 5, 2018, for trafficking in wildlife by selling game meat.

PENTICTON - A Similkameen man has been handed a hefty fine after pleading guilty to trafficking in wildlife in Penticton court today.

Clint Holmes, 29, a member of the Upper Similkameen Indian Band, was fined $2,500 in Penticton court today, March 5, for his role in selling game meat following an investigation by wildlife officials.

Crown prosecutor Mallory Treddenick told court a complaint was made to the B.C. Conservation office in October 2016 about Holmes providing game meat to another party who was then selling the meat.

An investigation ensued with wildlife officials going undercover to contact Holmes. A meeting took place in which the officer arranged to look at a truck Holmes had for sale.

Holmes promised to provide the officer with game meat if he bought the truck. The officer didn’t purchase the vehicle but Holmes sold him $50 worth of elk meat.

The officer contacted Holmes again in November 2016 asking to purchase more game meat. Holmes made arrangements to have his wife meet with the undercover officer who purchased $100 of deer and moose meat.

In a joint sentencing submission, both the Crown and defence asked for a fine of $2,500 with $2,000 of that diverted to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Treddenick said the fine was the minimum required under legislation; the maximum fine being $250,000 and two years jail time.

“Conservation officers have a huge mandate on a huge geographical area. Most of the illicit behaviours are detected through an elaborate undercover investigation,” she said, adding his guilty plea and acceptance of responsibility for his actions were mitigating factors.

Defence lawyer Ryu Okayama told court his client worked for the Upper Similkameen Indian Band as a Natural and Cultural Resource technician and was on stress leave as a result of the charge. He said his client would need time to pay the fine as he wasn’t working and was his family's sole breadwinner.

"You won't be seeing me in here again. This is my identity. This has made me very upset and remorseful," Holmes said.

Judge Robin Smith agreed with the joint submission fining Holmes $2,500 for the offence and giving him until March 31, 2019 to pay it.

A second charge of trafficking against Holmes and a trafficking charge against his wife, Lisa Marie Holmes, were stayed by Crown.

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