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Washington agents conduct poaching raids

SEATTLE – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife agents have conducted 14 raids around the state in a series of poaching investigations, and they say dozens of people could face charges.

The deputy chief of operations for Fish and Wildlife Police, Mike Cenci, said investigators are looking to speak with roughly 75 potential suspects.

They range from what he describes as “the hardcore poacher who just wants to see stuff die” to the drug addict feeding a habit and restaurant owners who wanted cut-rate fish, deer or elk.

One man was arrested Thursday as one of the search warrants was served in Tacoma.

Cenci said the illegal trade included most or all big game species in Washington, protected birds including raptors, salmon and bear gallbladder.

Cenci declined to identify any of the restaurants involved.


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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.