By Bill Spurr
A lengthy undercover investigation into illegal hunting in the Cheticamp area has resulted in the arrest of five men.
The Natural Resources Department brought undercover operators from outside the province to Cheticamp, where they conducted a 14-month investigation that culminated in the arrests, at five different residences, on Friday.
"Numerous items were seized, including in excess of 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms) of meat from deer, moose and bear, along with antlers, two off-highway vehicles, a truck, nine firearms, four computers, numerous cellphones and digital cameras," said John Mombourquette, the department’s director of law enforcement.
"A lot of the communication with the targets would have been via email, text messaging, so then we go back in and seize the computers to recover those messages for court purposes."
The men arrested are expected to appear in court in February.
Mombourquette wouldn’t say where the undercover agents came from.
"I have trained undercover operators, but when we’re conducting something in our own province, we traditionally bring in (undercover) operators from other jurisdictions," he said. "This investigation started more than four years ago, when we began compiling intelligence on possible illegal activity, and, after numerous public complaints, we brought in our special investigations unit."
He said the investigation is ongoing. More....