Washington state man fined $8,000 for killing wolves

AP

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NEWPORT (AP) — An eastern Washington state man who killed two wolves in northeastern Washington state has been fined more than $8,000.

Terry Leroy Fowler, 55, of Liberty Lake received the fine Thursday in Pend Oreille County District Court after pleading guilty to two counts of unlawful taking of endangered wildlife.

Authorities began investigating the wolf deaths in Pend Oreille County in early 2016 near LeClerk Creek Road. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police Captain Dan Rahn said evidence led to property owned by Fowler.

In March 2016, police searched Fowler’s residence in Liberty Lake and his cabin in Pend Oreille County. Rahn said officials found evidence of wolf trapping, wolf hair and two wolf skulls.

In December 2016, DNA analysis confirmed they were from three different wolves and Fish and Wildlife referred three counts of unlawful taking of endangered wildlife to the Pend Oreille County Prosecutor’s Office.

Washington state lists wolves as endangered throughout the state. Under federal law, wolves are listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of the state.

In the plea deal finalized Thursday, he pleaded guilty to killing two wolves. He’ll have to spend 30 days under home electronic monitoring, but a 364-day jail sentence was suspended.

The fine issued to Fowler included $8,000 in restitution to Fish and Wildlife and $293 for court costs.

State officials say two other wolf poaching cases are still under investigation in northeastern Washington state. One involves the killing of a female wolf from the Profanity Pack in Ferry County and the other a female wolf from the Dirty Shirt Pack about 10 miles southeast of Colville.

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