A network of 30 poachers was brought down by the Canadian province of Quebec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks last month in one of the provinces biggest poaching busts on record.
“It’s definitely in the top 3 of anti-poaching operations in Quebec,” Lieutenant Luc Alarie of the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks told Le Journal de Montreal.
Totaling 360 illegal wildlife charges including illegal possession of white-tailed deer, night hunting with a searchlight, hunting without a license, and a surplus of large game limits, the individuals involved are now facing fines in the amount of $280,000.
Using their best judgment, Alarie and other wildlife officers involved in the case estimated that the group of individuals was easily responsible for the illegal take of upwards of 60 deer per year in the Victoriaville and surrounding areas.
In addition to seizing three cars, two off-road vehicles, and two weapons, the team also recovered 13 whitetail deer and approximately 2,200 pounds of venison.
Of the 30 individuals charged in the operation, three of the accused took the bulk of the charges and fines. Jérôme Raîche and Pierre Lampron, of Sainte-Séraphine, and Jacques Vincent of Danville, Center-du-Québec were each fined roughly $50,000 each for their involvement in the operation.
The majority of the offenders were also handed two-year hunting and fishing license suspensions.
Of the 30 individuals involved in the bust, the biggest fines were handed out to the following offenders:
Jérôme Raîche of Sainte-Séraphine, $ 53,850 fine
Pierre Lamprin, of Sainte-Séraphine, $ 48,250 fine
Jacques Vincent, of Danvile, $ 48,250 fine
Clément Boudreau of Sainte-Clothilde, $ 33,925 fine
Serge Robidas of Danville, $ 9,125 fine
Stéphane Vincent of Princeville, $ 9125 fine
Patrick Lavoie of Kingsey Falls, $ 8175 fine
Arnaud Boucher Lemaire, Kingsey Falls, $ 7300 fine
Yvon Courchesne, president of the Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs for Center-du-Québec believes the punishment is severe enough to fit the crimes described but condoned the activities, calling poaching an “all too common” activity these days.