Feds recommend no prison, no loss of hunting privileges for man who smuggled bear from Canada

Pembina Border Patrol

FARGO (KVRR) – Federal prosecutors are recommending that a Wisconsin man who smuggled a black bear carcass from Canada to North Dakota avoid prison time and also retain his hunting privileges.

Joseph Stolarczyk, of Mosinee, Wis. brought the bear across the Pembina Port of Entry after he exceeded the Manitoba bag limit by killing two bears in the same year.

Stolarczyk pleaded guilty to Unlawful Transportation of Wildlife in Foreign Commerce.  He could have faced up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.  According to court documents, prosecutors will ask a federal judge to sentence Stolarczyk to one year of unsupervised probation and pay a $5,000 fine.

A sentencing memorandum says the United States will recommend that a judge “not impose a sentence of imprisonment” and “not restrict the defendant’s hunting privileges.”  The bear would have to be surrendered to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Acting U.S. Attorney Nick Chase said in the memorandum that the sentence “is sufficient, but not greater than necessary.”

“This sentence will promote deterrence, promote respect for the law, and take into consideration the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant.”

A change of plea and sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News