The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust will award $2,500 to the Washington resident who provided critical information that led to the arrest and conviction of Donald S. Gilbrech for a 2012 poaching case in Beacon Hill near Spokane Valley, Washington. Gilbrech pled guilty to possession of closed season moose and deer and was sentenced to one day in jail and a fine of $4,318. His vehicle was also forfeited to the state.
According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, a cow moose was illegally killed in April 2012 on Beacon Hill, an area bordering residential neighborhoods and popular with day hikers and mountain bikers. Evidence at the scene led WDFW to believe the animal was poached on site using archery equipment and then removed from the area by vehicle during the early morning hours of April 10. An anonymous tip led the officers to Gilbrech and his brother. During a search of their homes and vehicles, officers seized an illegally killed deer, archery equipment, multiple packages of moose meat and the vehicle. Gilbrech was determined to be the shooter.
Dan Paul, Washington state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said: “We are pleased that our reward program has helped bring a poacher to justice. We also thank the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for their aggressive investigation of poachers and urge prosecutors and judges to pursue felony convictions and strong sentences to deter others from committing this serious crime.”
Sgt. Paul Mosman of WDFW said: “This case illustrates the significant role the community plays in reducing poaching in Washington. The anonymous tip supplied us with the tools necessary to prosecute Mr. Gilbrech. We are grateful for the information and encourage others to reach out to us in the future if they come across information regarding a poaching incident.”
- The HSUS and The Trust work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspected poachers across the country. Wildlife officials estimate that nationwide, tens of millions of animals are poached annually.
- It is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals come to the attention of law enforcement.
- Poachers injure or kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information.
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