Fourth Oregon bull trout poacher sentenced
Tyler Glenn Chance Warren, 31, of Pendleton, was sentenced to three years' federal probation, a $1,000 fine, 40 hours of community service, and a three-year fishing ban after illegally taking bull trout from the Metolius River in the Deschutes National Forest.
Warren is the fourth Oregon resident convicted in federal court for illegally taking bull trout from area waters since Operation No Bull, a coordinated anti-poaching law enforcement operation, launched in 2017. Since its inception, the operation has resulted in criminal charges, civil penalties, or citations for more 30 bull trout poachers in federal, state and Tribal courts.
According to court documents, on Dec, 3, 2017, Warren and co-defendant Thomas R. Campbell, 30, of Culver, illegally took several bull trout from the Metolius River and the Eyerly Property, a portion of protected land adjacent to the Metolius near its confluence with Lake Billy Chinook. The Eyerly Property is held in trust by the U.S. for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and only accessible to tribal members.
On Dec. 4, 2017, Campbell posted a photo on Instagram of himself holding a juvenile bull trout. Another Instagram post showed Warren holding a bull trout on the Metolius. Investigators later found more photos on Campbell's phone including several that Campbell and Warren had texted to each other on Dec. 3. One of the photos depicted Warren holding a bull trout over a cast iron pan containing steaming fish meat. Another depicted Warren holding a dead bull trout with a beer can wedged in its mouth.
Warren transported the fish to his residence in Redmond where he texted Campbell two additional photos of Ziploc bags filled with bull trout fillets. Investigators believe Warren took at least four bull trout from the Metolius on Dec. 3, but the exact number is unknown.
On Sept. 9, 2019, Warren, Campbell and a third co-defendant, Joshua Alan Hanslovan, 29, of Albany, were charged by criminal information with violating the Lacey Act. All three men later waived indictment and pleaded guilty. On Nov. 23, 2020, Campbell was sentenced to five years' federal probation, a $6,000 fine, and 300 hours of community service ordered to be served on habitat restoration and conservation projects.
On June 16, 2021, Hanslovan was sentenced to three years' federal probation, a three-year angling ban, and 125 hours of community service.
A fourth poacher, Tyrone T. Wacker, 42, of Culver, was sentenced in a separate criminal case to five years' probation, a three-year angling and hunting ban, a $1,000 fine, and 90 hours of community service.
The fines issued as part of federal sentences in these cases were ordered to be paid to the Lacey Act Reward Account, a fund used to provide monetary awards to those who provide information about wildlife crimes and to pay costs incurred caring for fish, wildlife or plants held as evidence in ongoing investigations.
Bull trout are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and are vulnerable to overfishing. Poaching represents a lethal threat to their recovery. Today, bull trout inhabit less than half of their historic range. Central Oregon's Metolius River is an important spawning ground for the fish and helps to populate other waters. Bull trout are revered by anglers and are an important Tribal resource.
Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement; Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division; Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Branch of Natural Resources; and U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations. It was prosecuted by Will McLaren and Pam Paaso, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.
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