June 3, 2005
(Natural Resources)

Member of the ‘Untouchables’ receives jail time for salmon poaching

William Gilbert, from the community of St. Fintan’s, was sentenced recently at Provincial Court in Port aux Basques as a result of his involvement in a commercial poaching operation which took place during 2004 along the province’s southwest coast.

Mr. Gilbert, one of a group of nine convicted individuals who referred to themselves as ‘The Untouchables’, was convicted in December 2004 for possession of untagged Atlantic salmon and for the selling of Atlantic salmon.

On May 4, 2005, Judge Donald Luther sentenced Mr. Gilbert to two months in jail for each offence. Mr. Gilbert is also prohibited from being near scheduled inland waters for a period of 10 years. As well, a quantity of salmon that had been seized was forfeited to the crown.

Mr. Gilbert and the others involved in the commercial poaching operation were apprehended after a three-week investigation conducted by conservation officers with the Inland Fisheries Enforcement Program of the Department of Natural Resources. As a result of the investigation, nine male individuals, seven from this province and two from Ontario, were charged and subsequently convicted for a variety of offences related to their organized poaching activity.

In another case, Dean Cadwell of Charlottetown, Labrador, was sentenced on May 11, 2005, by Judge Bruce Short at Provincial Court in Port Hope Simpson for an obstruction charge related to an alleged poaching activity.

On August 12, 2004, Mr. Cadwell was observed netting inland waters by the department’s conservation officers. He then ran from conservation officers when they attempted to apprehend him. Mr. Cadwell was subsequently caught and charged with obstruction.

Judge Short fined Mr. Cadwell $500, the maximum under the Wildlife Act, and placed him on probation for three years. In addition, Mr. Cadwell is prohibited from taking part in any recreational fishing activity for a period of three years.

Media contact: Carmel Turpin, Communications, (709) 729-5282, 685-4624

2005 06 03                        11:45 a.m.

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