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“Operation Something Bruin” bear poaching hearing

Brown Bear RS

Next week a panel of North Carolina state legislators will hold the first of a series of investigative hearings dealing with tactics used by wildlife officer’s in last year’s “Operation Something Bruin” bear poaching sting operation.

The first hearing will be held Monday, Dec. 8, at 10 a.m. at the Stecoah Art and Cultural Center in Graham County. It and all future such hearings will be open to the public.

The panel will hear testimony from guides and hunters who say they and their families were subjected to “gestapo tactics” by members of the multi-agency task force that conducted the operation, as well as charges that officers themselves used illegal tactics ranging from evidence planting to warrantless searches to false arrest and assault.

The full title of the ten-member panel, which is co-chaired by Reps. Tom Murry and Roger West, is the Select Committee on Regulatory Authority and Operations of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The committee was formed to exercise “regulatory authority” over the state’s wildlife law enforcement agencies.

Organizers said Anne Magee Tompkins, United States Attorney for Western North Carolina, will also be present.

The hearings will be covered by The Tribune.

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