Deer killed in drive-by shooting left to rot

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Man sentenced to $4,000 fine, two-year hunting ban for allowing edible flesh of big game animal to decay

The body of a deer killed in a 2016 drive-by shooting investigated by Alberta Fish and Wildlife was left to rot in a storage shed, according to Crown prosecutors during Boyle Provincial Court Aug. 28.

The 38-year-old Brett Jason Letki was handed a $4,000 fine and a two-year hunting prohibition after his father appeared in court to plead guilty on his behalf to allowing edible flesh of a big game animal to become unfit for human consumption.

Crown prosecutor David Hall said in an agreed statement of facts the offence comes from a long investigation from Alberta Fish and Wildlife. Hall said the offence occurred between Nov. 6, 2016, when a complaint was originally sent, and May 7, 2017, where a deer was found in a storage shed during a search warrant executed by Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers.

He added the deer found in the shed had been field-dressed, but not skinned, Hall said.

“Animal had decayed,” Hall said. “Had been left to rot in that building. It was not used at all.”

The video was originally posted to the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Facebook page Dec. 9, 2016. In the video of an alleged poaching incident, a deer appears to be shot by suspects from a truck, before a group of people load the carcass into the back of the truck and drive away. In the Facebook post, Alberta Fish and Wildlife said the offence occurred approximately three miles east of Colinton and asked the public for information involving the incident.

Judge Peter Ayotte went along with Hall’s recommendation for the sentencing, with Hall noting Letki has a history of fish and wildlife offences. The hunting prohibition is consecutive to a hunting prohibition Letki is already under.

Ayotte said the fish and wildlife rules are in places to protect the natural resources.

“Intent is to ensure resource is there for future generations,” Ayotte said. “When wasting in a fashion like this, the high fines are appropriate.”

Other man charged appears Sept. 25 

In a Aug. 27 Facebook post, Alberta Fish and Wildlife also said 40-year-old Leeland Stringer was charged in relation to the Nov. 6, 2016 incident. His five charges include discharging a firearm from a road, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, allowing the edible flesh of a big game animal to be wasted, failing to immediately affix a tag to a big game animal and unlawful possession of wildlife.

Stringer appeared in Boyle Provincial Court Aug. 28. Duty counsel Jay Conlin asked on Stringer’s behalf that his matters be held over until Sept. 25 to review disclosure and potentially retain counsel, a request Ayotte granted.

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