Nine people in northeastern New Brunswick are facing almost 190 charges related to illegal moose harvesting, selling moose meat and the the illegal sale of hunting rights.
The charges cover alleged incidents that happened between Oct. 12 and Dec. 14, 2016 in different areas of Northumberland County including Tomogonops Road, Bartibog, Neguac, Caissie Road, and Miramichi.
The charges were laid in Miramichi provincial court on Oct. 13 and Oct. 16, 2017, almost a year after the RCMP, the provincial Justice and Public Safety Department and federal Fisheries and Oceans Department executed eight search warrants Dec. 14 and Dec. 15, 2016 at locations in Neguac and Miramichi.
The charges were the result of an 11-month joint enforcement investigation in the Miramichi and Neguac areas.
Many of those charged appeared in Miramichi provincial court Nov. 14.
Gilles Allain of Neguac and Kevin Trites of Moncton are named on a 77-count information that includes nine charges of hunting moose out of season, and three charges of unlawfully having a moose carcass or a portion of a moose carcass in their possession.
Allain, 57, is named alone in 50 of the charges on the information. The charges include hunting moose out of season, unlawfully having a moose carcass or a portion of a moose carcass in his possession, offering to sell the carcass or portion of the carcass, illegal storage of the green hide, pelt, carcass or any part without a proper transfer permit.
He also faces charges of unsafely discharging a firearm and having a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Trites also faces charges of unlawful storage of the green hide, pelt, carcass or any part without a proper transfer permit.
In a separate 27-count information, Allain and Trites were each charged with wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal.
In the information, Allain and Trites each face a number of charges related to possessing non-restricted firearms without a license.
Trites also faces charges of being in possession of restricted firearms without a license and drug charges including possession of more than three kilograms of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. A trial on the matter is set for Dec. 12.
Trites was in court Nov. 17 with his lawyer Wendell Maxwell who asked the court to adjourn the pleas until late January.
Allain will return to court Dec. 11 and he is represented by Luc Roy. His matter will proceed in French.
Edmond Gregoire Rousselle, 44, of Neguac, faces seven charges of hunting moose in a closed season and two charges of unlawful possession of a moose carcass.
He was represented in court by his uncle and was ordered to appear Dec. 7.
Charges of selling hunting rights
Robert Louie Martin, 44, of Esgenoopititj First Nation faces a charge of wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal, illegal possession of a non-restricted firearm, seven charges of illegally hunting moose out of season, five charge of unlawful possession of a moose carcass and two charges of discharging a firearm unsafely and two charges of having a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
Martin, along with Ralph Mitchell, also of Esgenoopititj First Nation each face a charge of unlawfully selling their hunting rights.
Both Martin and Mitchell will return to court Dec. 11.
Carol Ann Trites, 33, of Moncton, faces seven charges of unlawfully possessing a moose carcass or portion of a carcass and nine charges of unlawful storage of the green hide, pelt, carcass or any part without a proper transfer permit.
She was scheduled to return to court Nov. 17.
Diane Levesque, 57, of Neguac, has been charged with one count of unlawfully possessing a moose carcass or portion of a carcass and 24 charges of unlawful storage of the green hide, pelt, carcass or any part without a proper transfer permit.
Levesque did not appear in court but Allain's lawyer indicated he might be her lawyer in the future and she was ordered to appear on Dec. 11.
Kevin Trites, Carol Ann Trites, Allain and Levesque were also each charged with unlawful possession of more fish of a species other than salmon than allowed by quota.
Reginald Falconer, 68 and Joyce Falconer, 67, of Miramichi, each face three charges of unlawfully possessing a moose carcass or portion of a carcass, and two charges of unlawfully offering or exposing for sale, trade or barter a moose carcass.
They were represented by Gilles Lemieux and will return to court Dec. 4 to enter pleas on the charges.