Three Colville men pleaded guilty Thursday in the poaching of a rare mountain caribou in December.
Narron Drury, 28, pleaded guilty to killing the animal, a violation of the Endangered Species Act. He also pleaded guilty to illegally transporting the carcass, a violation of the federal Lacey Act.
James Sgueglia, 31, and Larry Krotzer, 42, pleaded guilty to helping transport the illegally killed animal.
“There was no plea agreement or negotiations,” said Roger Parker, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent. “We had some overwhelming forensics evidence that identified the caribou meat and hair at their cabin.”
About 70 caribou live in the Selkirk Mountains of northeastern Washington, North Idaho and southern British Columbia, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The agency is working with Idaho and Canada to boost the population by capturing caribou in British Columbia for transplant to the Selkirks.
Drury killed one of 19 caribou relocated to northeastern Washington last year. A Fish and Wildlife worker found the slain caribou’s radiotransmitter collar a mile northwest of Northport in Stevens County.
Drury is scheduled for sentencing in U.S. District Court in Spokane on Aug. 26. Sgueglia and Krotzer are to be sentenced Sept. 9.