Federal and state wildlife officials from North Carolina and Georgia began making arrests Tuesday in massive multi-agency sting operation to catch bear poachers, officials said Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference at the Asheville office of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Col. Dale Caveny, law enforcement chief for the agency, said Operation Something Bruin will result in the arrests of more than 80 people in North Carolina and Georgia on a variety of wildlife violations.
The four-year investigation, the largest of its kind in recent years, targeted poachers in North Carolina and Georgia with work in some adjacent states.
“Operation Something Bruin documented hundreds of wildlife violations,” Caveny said. “Today’s arrests … bring an immediate halt to those crimes, and we hope will make would-be violators think twice before breaking the law.”
Of the 81 people who are being charged, 47 are in North Carolina, Caveny said. He could not provide a breakdown of arrests by county but said that most of the perpetrators would be charged in District Court in the counties in which the offenses occurred.