POLITICS

11 people from Canada, U.S. and New Zealand plead guilty in hunting lodge bust

01/13/2014 04:34 EST | Updated 03/15/2014 05:59 EDT
DRYDEN, Ont. - Eleven people from Canada, the United States and New Zealand have pleaded guilty to a total of 68 charges for offences that took place at a hunting and fishing lodge in northwestern Ontario.

They have also been ordered to pay a total of $72,500 in fines.

Steve Herbeck, former owner of Andy Myers Lodge on Eagle Lake, west of Dryden, was fined a total of $7,500 and his business was fined a total of $27,000 for 22 offences.

Six lodge employees and lodge guests from Wisconsin, New York and New Zealand were among those who pleaded guilty to various hunting and fishing-related offences.

The charges were laid following a two-year covert investigation involving Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers and officials from the U.S. and New Zealand.

Court was told Herbeck and his staff encouraged clients to hunt wolves without a licence, and staff then used their own licences to validate the wolf or arranged for guests to buy licences afterward.

Herbeck also allowed guests to fish without a licence and later sold them backdated fishing licences, and also fed guests grouse and mallard duck, which the lodge was not allowed to sell.