Washington state wildlife manager accused of poaching

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A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife employee has been accused of poaching.

The Ferry County prosecutor last month charged Brock Hoenes, the director of Fish and Wildlife, the north-central region, with unlawfully hunting second-degree big game, The Spokesman-Review reported.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Hoenes “on or about” Nov. 13 illegally killed an animal in Ferry County, according to court documents provided to the newspaper by environmental groups Washington Wildlife First and the Kettle Range Conservation Group.

What kind of animal, what kind of weapon was used and a more detailed explanation of what happened were not included in the court documents.

Hoenes told the newspaper this week he immediately reported the incident and could not comment further because of the court proceedings.

“Yes, I immediately reported the incident myself after realizing I had made the mistake and fully cooperated throughout the investigation,” Hoenes wrote in an email.

A Fish and Wildlife spokesman declined to comment, referring questions to the Ferry County Attorney’s Office. The prosecution referred questions to the investigative authority, which in this case was WDFW’s Enforcement Division.

“To have someone in a leadership position who is a poacher without any form of discipline is beyond hypocritical,” said Samantha Bruegger, executive director of Washington Wildlife First. “It’s irresponsible.”

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