Sentencing for two men guilty of killing wolves

Minneapolis — Two northern Minnesota men were sentenced recently for their parts in a case that revolved around the killing of two wolves in February 2010.

Kyler James Jensen, 32, of Finland, was sentenced Monday to time served on two counts of violating the Endangered Species Act. Indicted last July, Jensen pleaded guilty last November.

The other man in the case – 55-year-old Vernon Lee Hoff, also of Finland – was sentenced last week to a month in prison and a $2,500 fine. He was convicted last November of one count of violating the Endangered Species Act and one count of false statements to a federal officer.

As a result of his conviction, Hoff no longer will be able to possess firearms.

“We are pleased with the outcome, and want to thank the conservation officers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for their partnership and continued commitment to working together in an effort to fight wildlife crime in Minnesota,” Gregory Jackson, special agent in charge for the Midwest Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, said in a news release.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura M. Provinzino prosecuted the case.

According to prosecutors, Jensen, an employee of Hoff’s company, deliberately ran down two wolves.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice: “The evidence presented at trial proved that Hoff lied to a USFWS official when asked whether he spoke on the telephone with Jensen about transporting two wolf carcasses that Jensen purposely killed with his vehicle on February 17, 2010. In fact, Hoff denied that any call had taken place. After the call, Jensen loaded the two gray wolves into his vehicle, traveled to Superior

National Forest, and buried them with the use of a bulldozer, as instructed by Hoff. At the time, the gray wolf was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. It was removed from that list in Minnesota in January of 2012.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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