Federal jury convicts man in illegal wolf killing

Published 7:26 pm Saturday, November 17, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota man has been convicted of violating the Endangered Species Act and lying to a federal official in connection with the 2010 killing of two gray wolves — a threatened species at the time.

The wolf was removed from Minnesota’s endangered list earlier this year.

A federal jury convicted 55-year-old Vernon Lee Hoff of Finland on Friday. A message left with his attorney wasn’t immediately returned.

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Prosecutors said another man, Kyler James Jensen, killed two gray wolves with his vehicle and talked to Hoff about transporting the carcasses. Prosecutors said Hoff lied to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials when asked about the phone call.

Prosecutors said Jensen buried the carcasses in the Superior National Forest. Jensen pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.