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Tacoma man pleads not guilty to selling illegal wild animal meat

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Sep. 20, 2012 at 6:10 am |
September 20, 2012 8:34 am

A 45-year-old Tacoma man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he illegally sold wild animal meat to undercover federal agents.

Bona Bunthoath has been charged with six counts of unlawful trafficking in fish or wildlife, one count of second-degree unlawful trafficking in fish or wildlife and two counts of second-degree unlawful hunting of big game.

Prosecutors said more charges may be filed.

He was released on his own recognizance Wednesday after his arraignment. Bunthoath was arrested Tuesday at his home in the 1300 block of E. 38th Street in a statewide raid that netted about 60 arrests.

Charging papers give this account:

Undercover agents from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife contacted Bunthoath last year and asked if he had illegal deer and elk meat to sell. Bunthough said he did.

Between February and December 2011, federal agents bought $8,250 worth of deer, elk and Sturgeon from him.

Bunthoath told the undercover agents he had been doing this for seven years. He claimed the deer and elk meat came from the Indians and that the fish were taken from the Snake River.

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