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Pair Fined But Avoid Jail In Killing Of Caribou

Two men convicted of transporting an endangered caribou that had been illegally killed have been ordered to pay fines and restitution but received no jail time.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno on Tuesday sentenced Larry Krotzer, 42, and James Sgueglia, 31, to three years’ probation and ordered them to pay $500 fines for killing a woodland caribou last December in Stevens County.

Both Colville men earlier pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act and illegally transporting the carcass, a violation of the federal Lacey Act.

Another Colville man, Narron Drury, 28, pleaded guilty to killing the animal and received a similar sentence last month but was ordered to pay $4,042 in restitution.

Also at the sentencing in Spokane, Imbrogno ordered Krotzer to pay $400 in restitution. Sgueglia was ordered to pay $200 in restitution. Both men will be allowed to work off the fine amounts through community service.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presented evidence that linked meat and animal hair at Krotzer’s cabin with the missing caribou.

The men faced maximum jail terms of a year and $100,000 fines for violating the Endangered Species Act. Prosecutors recommended 30 days and a $1,000 fine for Krotzer and probation and a $1,000 fine for Sgueglia.

The three were indicted in the killing of an adult cow that was one of 19 caribou transplanted last year from northern British Columbia to the northeastern Washington portion of the Selkirk Mountains.

In early December, Fish and Wildlife Department agents found the caribou’s radio collar a few miles south of the Canadian border near the Stevens County town of Northport.

In 1996, 19 British Columbia caribou were transplanted. Five are still alive. Nine of 13 animals transported to the Selkirks earlier this year are still alive.

Most of the caribou were killed by bears or cougars, state and federal officials said.

Tags: hunting