San Fran Pals Popped for Poaching

Five men from San Francisco will pay $12,855 in fines after pleading guilty this month to participating in a poaching operation in Glenn County after arrests and subsequent investigation by the California Department of Fish and Game.

The subjects entered their guilty plea in Glenn County Superior Court.

Department of Fish and Game wardens caught Zon Chu, 56, Howard Lai, 43, Kenneth Wong, 29, Jiale Yu, 43, and Chi Wong, 34, illegally hunting wildlife on a private ranch in western Glenn County near the Mendocino National Forest in October 2011. The men admitted to poaching wildlife on the property, owned by Chu, for more than 10 years.

On the evening of Oct. 21, DFG wardens observed a spotlight sweeping over a wooded area in western Glenn County. Upon closer inspection, wardens observed the men spotlighting and hunting wildlife from the back of a pickup truck and several ATVs.

After giving the men time to return to their base camp, wardens Steven Martignoni, Tyson Hulse and Jake Olsen moved in and discovered seven subjects covered in blood and a camp strewn with dead animals including deer, wild hog, rabbits and a western screech owl. A further inspection of the property revealed evidence of a long-standing poaching operation. Wardens seized three scoped rifles, the spotlight and numerous dead animals.

Five of the seven subjects were cited for several Fish and Game violations including hunting without a license, hunting after legal shoot times, possession of a non-game bird, hunting with a spotlight and unlawful take of wildlife. Two of the subjects were minors and were not cited for violations.

The case was filed earlier this month by the Glenn County District Attorney’s Office.

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