October 1, 2015 4:56 pm

6 Albertans fined more than $71k for multiple poaching offences over 7 years

A rifle owner checks the sight of his rifle at a hunting camp property in rural Ontario, west of Ottawa, on Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010.

The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

EDMONTON – Six people have been fined more than $71,000 for multiple poaching charges over seven years.

Alberta Justice says all six pleaded guilty in Stony Plain provincial court on Monday.

The convictions came from a seven-year investigation by Alberta Fish and Wildlife that included videos posted on Facebook and YouTube showing illegal hunting.

The department says the investigation found Gerard Visneskie, Sophie Goupil, Damien Verheyden, Alyssa Rogers, Mark Ernewein and Stanley Raugust participated in a substantial amount of unlawful hunting and fishing activity.

It also says the six demonstrated a complete lack of regard for conservation laws and the offences ranged from using a variety of unlawful equipment and methods, falsifying documents to unlawfully obtain licences, hunting and fishing without licences, and hunting and fishing during closed seasons.

The two with the highest fines are Goupil with $16,000; Visneskie, $34,000; and Verheyden, $13,500, while the others were ordered to pay $667 to $4,500.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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