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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


August 29, 1997
Contact: Madonna Luers, (509) 456-4073

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Caribou poacher ordered to pay $4,042 restitution

SPOKANE -- A man convicted this spring of poaching an endangered caribou was sentenced this week in federal court to pay $4,042 in restitution for part of the cost of bringing the animal into Washington from Canada in an ongoing recovery project.

Narron Drury, 28, of Colville was convicted in May of illegally killing and transporting a mountain caribou cow last December in northern Stevens County. Drury was convicted of violating the Endangered Species Act and the Lacey Act, which together carry maximum penalties of up to two years in jail and/or up to $200,000 in fines.

U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno ordered Drury to pay $4,042, a figure that Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials estimated was part of the cost they incurred to capture, transport and release the caribou in a project to recover the most endangered large mammal in the country. The figure was derived as a per-animal cost in the 19 caribou operation, but included only equipment, travel expenses, and contract services such as helicopter use. It did not include state and federal employee salaries during the capture operation, radio telemetry monitoring time and expense since the animal was released in April of 1996, nor time and expense investigating the poaching.

Imbrogno also suspended a $500 court fine and ordered Drury instead to work 30 hours of community service. Drury was placed on three years' probation while he pays off the restitution amount. His hunting privileges are suspended during his probation.

Two other Colville men, James Squeglia, 31, and Larry Krotzer, 42, also were convicted this spring of violations of the Lacey Act for their involvement in transporting the poached caribou. Their sentencing is set for Sept. 9.

The last remaining population of caribou in the country is the 60-some animals in the Selkirk mountains of northeast Washington, north Idaho, and southern British Columbia.

WDFW is currently leading an interagency effort to boost the population with capture of caribou in northern British Columbia for transplant to the Selkirks. In 1996, 19 caribou were transplanted, five of which are still alive. Earlier this year 13 more caribou were transplanted, nine of which are still alive. Most of the losses, where the cause of death could be determined, have been to predation by bears or cougars.

The poached cow caribou was pregnant when released, although no calf was seen with her over the year and a half that she was monitored.