Idaho Man Pleads Guilty In Montana To Illegally Buying Wildlife Parts
A 48-year-old Idaho man who is accused of illegally purchasing wildlife carcasses and parts from an undercover game warden will plead guilty to two felonies later in the month under an agreement with state prosecutors.
Pocatello, Idaho resident Yan "Bo" Fong was charged late last year with three felony counts of unlawful sale of a game animal and three felony accounts of unlawful possession, shipping, and or transportation of a game animal and or fur bearing animal. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on Nov. 24th and was released on a $15,000 bond.
Prosecutors allege that twice in 2017 and once in 2018 Fong met with an undercover game warden near Dillon and purchased wildlife parts that were presented to be illegally obtained. Fong purchased bear gallbladders, paws and carcasses, multiple mountain lion and bobcat carcasses, and a elk and two mule deer carcasses. Payments totaled $3800, according to the charging documents.
Bear gallbladders are worth thousands of dollars in Asia, where they are used as sources of traditional medicine. The sale is illegal in Montana. Bear paws are considered an edible delicacy, and the demand for bear paws and gallbladders has led to a number of prosecutions nationally for illegally killing bears and trafficking in their parts.