According to reports from KING 5, officials from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted a series of raids across the state today, targeting an alleged ring engaged in the poaching and selling of wild (and moderately bizarre) animal parts. SWAT team members in Tacoma served a warrant at the home of the alleged ringleader, and a restaurant in Skagit County where the illegal meat was allegedly on the menu also felt the wrath of Department of Fish and Wildlife officials.
As KING 5 reports:
Fourteen warrants were served across the state, according to Mike Cenci, DFW's deputy chief of enforcement. One warrant was served at the Tacoma home of the alleged head of an operation engaged in the unlawful sale of deer and elk meat. Another was executed at a Skagit County restaurant where poached wildlife meat was offered on the menu.
Cenci said a variety of wildlife parts were being offered for sale by persons targeted in the operation, "everything from bear gallbladders to sport-caught fish that were not allowed to be commercialized ... to raptor parts and deer and elk meat."
The KING 5 story indicates at least one person was arrested during the serving of the search warrant in Tacoma, with the person in question now facing 13 counts of illegal trafficking and possession of closed-season big game. Throughout the state, as many as 12 vehicles and a bevy of weapons were also seized.
For those who weren't previously aware, let this serve as a lesson: While some may find it tasty or intriguing, Cenci tells KING 5 that Washington state law prohibits the sale of game meat.