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Old July 11, 2012, 11:23 PM   #48
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Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
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Wolf poachers get more than slap on wrist

A federal judge in Spokane on Wednesday strengthened the penalty against three members of a Twisp family who pleaded guilty to killing wolves from the first wolf pack spotted in Washington since the 1930s.

Senior U.S. District Judge Frem Nielsen confirmed $73,000 fines against William, Tom and Erin White. But he sentenced William White to six months’ home confinement and Tom White to three months.

Under a much-criticized plea bargain agreed to by federal prosecutors, the three poachers were to get off with probation.

The poachers’ crimes came to light when a woman, believed to be Erin White and giving a false name, tried to ship a blood-dripping parcel containing a wolf pelt to Canada from the Federal Express office in Okanogan. She claimed it was a rug.

The two wolves killed were part of the Lookout Pack, first identified in 2008. The pack was reduced to two (possibly three) animals and has not produced pups since the killing. A pack in the Teanaway River, north of Cle Elum, is now the only breeding pack in the Cascades.
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