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Tree Sends Poachers To The Pokey

from WaPo via Greenwich Time

Trees fight back: First-ever use of tree DNA in prosecution sends poacher to prison

by Adela Suliman, Washington Post

The trees are fighting back.

They’re under threat from the effects of climate change and raging forest fires – and this week they have ensured the person behind an illegal logging operation will be imprisoned for 20 months.

A case in Washington State represents the first use of DNA evidence from trees during a prosecution in a federal criminal trial.

Justin Andrew Wilke, 39, and a crew of associates were found to have conducted an illegal logging operation in the Elk Lake area of the Olympic National Forest in Washington State, between April and August 2018. The group removed highly-prized Maple trees – used to produce musical instruments such as violins and guitars – and forged permits to sell the wood, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office Western District of Washington. Wilke was sentenced on Monday.

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Posted on November 16, 2021 by Editor

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