FWC arrests 10 accused of poaching in undercover sting

Deputies say group bought poached animals, shipped them out of state

Published On: Nov 14 2012 05:39:26 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 14 2012 07:23:34 PM EST
FWC bust

At least 10 people have been arrested after a 2-year investigation by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission workers resulted in a bust of accused poachers.

Deputies said the group bought poached animals and shipped the meat out of state illegally. Wildlife officials said they started recording video and taking pictures of more than 20 people selling the animals in several states nationwide.

"Profit they were making on each trip was around $10,000 dollars each time," said Cpt. Greg Eason.

FWC officials said it's not clear how many animals were killed, but poachers were found with hundreds of pounds of deer, birds and fish that were taken in refrigerated vans.

"When you harvest this game illegally as you can see in some of these pictures there's no safety standards," said Major Curtis Brown of FWC. "The health department isn't inspecting them they don't have licenses so it's a public health risk."

FWC says six more people could be arrested in addition to the 10 people. The accused poachers are facing 75 felonies and nearly 150 misdemeanors combined.