North Bend Man Faces Up to 40 Years in Jail for Illegal Hunting
The Washington State Attorney General's Office says Jason Smith has been charged with 32 criminal counts.
The 29-year old North Bend man faces allegations that he baited animals without proper tags, hunted a mother bear with cubs, hunted over the bag limit and went onto private property to get animals without permission over the course of two years. He is also suspected of illegally killing bear and elk near his home within that two year span. Perhaps even worse is the fact that he's also charged with wasting wildlife, as he did not recover any meat off of several of the animals he illegally hunted.
In the press release, the AG's office wrote, "If convicted, Smith faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each of the two felony charges of first-degree unlawful hunting of big game. The 27 gross misdemeanor charges of second-degree unlawful hunting of big game, unlawful black bear hunting and unlawful waste of wildlife each carry a penalty of up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Smith faces up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for three misdemeanor charges of unlawful hunting or retrieving wildlife from private property."
Smith gained the attention of law enforcement after he posted a number of pictures and accounts of the illegal activity directly to his Instagram page, and other social media accounts. He also had numerous pictures saved on his phone which weren't published to social media that law enforcement found after his arrest.
The Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Division is prosecuting the case, and filed the charges in King County Superior Court.