National Parks

Brickbat: Out of Season


Last year, federal and North Carolina and Georgia state wildlife law enforcement announced the results of Operation Something Bruin, a joint investigation that resulted in bear-poaching charges against 80 people. But an investigation by an Atlanta TV station found that charges against many of those people have since been dropped for lack of evidence and others were allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor charges such as driving on a closed forestry road. In fact, the investigation found that law enforcement officers, not the alleged poachers, killed many of the bears. In some cases, the alleged poachers weren't even with the law enforcement officers when they killed the bears. Rabun County, Georgia, District Attorney Brian Rickman said he's considered taking a criminal case against one of the officers to the grand jury, but he says he fears that any indictment would be kicked up to the federal system where prosecutors would dismiss it.

NEXT: DOJ's 'Operation Choke Point' May Be Root of Porn Star Bank Account Closings

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Those bears had a street value of over $2 million.

    1. In China, I suppose.

  2. Kenneth Collins had a valid hunting license, but spent 30 days in jail for failing to get a $23 federal land use permit.

    “I’d never been in no kind of trouble. I’ve never been to court for nothing,” Collins said during the January forum.

    Justice. Was. Served.

  3. Shit, everyone who knows anything about hunting knows that the biggest outlaws are the game wardens.

    1. Being a possum cop is probably not a bad gig if you’re into crapping on the constitution. You don’t even have to worry with any of the hassles of warrants, due process or nuthin.

  4. Rickman has considered taking a criminal case against Arnold to a Rabun County grand jury, however even if there’s an indictment, any charges could be kicked up to federal court, where the U.S. Attorneys who’ve supported the entire operation would have the option of just dismissing it.

    Then that’s on federal prosecutors. But I’m guessing that’s not really why this DA isn’t going forward with charges against a precious LEO.

    1. Well, he knows he isn’t going to get a conviction. Are prosecutors/judges elected in that area? He may be playing both sides for a career boost.

    2. I believe fed LEOs have “the right” to have any criminal charges brought against them for anything related to their job heard in federal court rather than the local jurisdiction.

      Some law pased by congress to protect them from being railroaded by corrupt yokels.

      1. In that case – extrajudicial punishment is called for since the rule of law broke down.

        1. Arm the Bears.
          Bears no how to take retribution.

          1. I believe they really yes how to take retribution.

          2. Good thing they have the Second Amendment right to their arms! Go Bears!

      2. According to the article, the officer in question is from North Carolina. And the DA is from Georgia.

      3. The federal removal statute. I believe Lon Horiuchi availed himself of it.

        1. And was rejected by the 9th Circuit and remanded back to the local court for prosecution. Only by then the county prosecutor was voted out of office (how convenient) and the new one dropped charges.

  5. Dude can we roll that beautiful bean footage or what?

  6. Are you trying to deny these cops their rights to bear arms?

    1. They’ve denied the citizens’ rights to arm bears. Those poor defenseless bears were unable to shoot back!

    2. Please don’t go there, or in a few replies we will be arguing about arming ursoids.

      1. Too late.

  7. Next up: “Operation Egg On”, going after those other poachers.

  8. In fact, the investigation found that law enforcement officers, not the alleged poachers, killed many of the bears.

    Just like when an undercover cop sells drugs to someone and then arrests them for buying them. Completely moral, completely just.

  9. AFAICT, this is an operation in which undercover agents hired people as guides, killed bears, and then had the guides prosecuted for killing the bears.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.