WASHINGTON—A Leominster, Mass., man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston to a misdemeanor charge for his role in unlawfully killing and transporting a black bear (Ursus americanus) across state lines in violation of the Lacey Act, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts announced.
Scott LeBlanc admitted that in September 2002, he participated in a guided elk hunt in Dolores County, Colo. During that hunt, LeBlanc knowingly shot and killed a black bear for which he had no valid hunting license, and then lied to the Colorado Department of Wildlife about who actually killed the bear. LeBlanc then arranged to have the illegally killed bear's skin turned into a rug and transported to his home in Leominster.
The Lacey Act prohibits the interstate transportation of wildlife which, in the exercise of due care, the transporter should have known was taken in violation of any state wildlife-related law.
LeBlanc was sentenced to two years probation, a $3,000 fine, and $5,000 in restitution to be paid to the State of Colorado. LeBlanc was also ordered to file papers within 30 days suspending his right to hunt in Colorado, and the other Wildlife Violator Compact States, for five years. The hunting guide who knowingly assisted LeBlanc in the illegal bear kill is being prosecuted in Colorado.
The prosecution is the result of an investigation led by the agents of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The case was prosecuted by the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.