Two men indicted for killing wolves, lying to federal agents
Minneapolis — Two Finland, Minn., men were indicted last week in federal court, accused of killing two gray wolves, burying them in the Superior National Forest, and then lying to federal investigators about the incident.
The two men – Vernon Lee Hoff, 54, and Kyler James Jensen, 31 – each were charged with one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act; one misdemeanor count of violation of the Endangered Species Act; and one felony count of making false statements to federal officers.
Jensen also was charged with a second Endangered Species Act violation.
According to the indictment, the killings occurred in February 2010, which is just less than two years before the animals were removed from the list of endangered species.
Both men, if convicted, face up to five years in prison for making a false statement to a federal official. Each of the remaining charges carries a penalty of up to one year in prison.
The indictment alleges that Jensen purposely killed the two wolves with his vehicle on Feb. 17, 2010. He and Hoff then conspired over the phone to transport the two carcasses to the Superior National Forest for burial.
Jensen then allegedly loaded the two animals into his vehicle, drove to the Superior National Forest, and used a bulldozer to bury them.
The indictment alleges that Hoff lied when U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents asked him if he spoke with Jensen about transporting the wolf carcasses. It alleges that Jensen lied to federal investigators when he denied burying the wolf carcasses in the Superior National Forest.
The case against Hoff and Jensen is the result of an investigation by the state DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.