The BC Conservation Officer Service says it used civil forfeiture law to seize a pair of vehicles – a truck and a riverboat – from a ‘prolific offender’ in northern British Columbia
The seizure was the result of an investigation that began in November 2017, when the man shot a decoy the service had set up as part of an operation to catch people hunting at night near Fort St. John.
Officers used evidence from the decoy shooting to track down the suspect, arrest him and seize his truck.
Conservation Officer Blake Parker told CTV News that the night hunting charge – which resulted in the man being fined $5,000 and banned from hunting for five years – n It was not the first time officers had interacted with the offender.
As that charge worked its way through the court system, officers learned of other wildlife law and fisheries law violations the man allegedly committed, Parker said.
“In this investigation, there were things, evidence, which revealed that other offenses had been committed,” he said. “That led us to the seizure of the river boat. That happened in 2019.”
The volume of illegal activity committed by the man, along with the seriousness of night hunting as an offense, led officers to pursue forfeiture of the vehicles under the provincial Civil Forfeiture Act, Parker said. .
“Night hunting is dangerous,” he said. “(The offender) put other people at risk.”
Court proceedings for the confiscation of the two vehicles ended earlier this month, according to Parker.
BCCOS estimated the value of the two seized vehicles at approximately $60,000.