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August 19, 1998
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, (360) 902-2408

State, tribal cooperative on elk poaching arrest

OLYMPIA -- Following cooperative action by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers and Tulalip tribal officials, two tribal members were arrested yesterday and booked into Cowlitz County Jail in connection with a February elk poaching incident near Toutle in which five elk were shot and left on the ground.

Anthony Moses, Sr., age 37, and Brian Moses, 39, both of Marysville, were arrested on felony charges of first-degree animal cruelty; gross misdemeanor charges of hunting big game during a closed season and hunting with artificial light, and misdemeanor charges of wastage and shooting from a public roadway. According to Cowlitz County Deputy Prosecutor Arne Deny, the felony charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine; the gross misdemeanors each carry maximum penalties of one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, and the misdemeanors each carry penalties of up to 90-days or $500.

Arrest warrants had been issued for the two men after they failed to appear for a scheduled arraignment in Cowlitz County last May. They were arrested by WDFW officers yesterday on the Tulalip reservation near Marysville, after a Northwest Intertribal Court System judge issued probable-cause tribal warrants based on the Cowlitz County warrants. Tribal police, at the direction of tribal executives, also assisted WDFW officers in contacting the men. The suspects were arraigned in tribal court on the charges before being taken to Cowlitz County.

"The tribe was extremely helpful to us in making this arrest," said WDFW Enforcement Chief Ron Swatfigure.

A third tribal member allegedly involved in the incident, Anthony Moses Jr., age 20, was arraigned last May in Cowlitz County on the same charges and is scheduled to appear Oct. 14 in Cowlitz County Superior Court. In addition, he also was charged with possessing a loaded rifle in a vehicle, a misdemeanor.

Anthony Moses Sr., and Brian Moses were scheduled to appear in Cowlitz County Superior Court today. They each are being held on $10,000 bail. The poaching incident the men allegedly were involved in occurred Feb. 18 near State Route 504. Four elk were shot about midnight and were left dead on the ground; a fifth animal was left wounded and later died.