MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – An indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office claims two Minnesota men killed two endangered wolves and then lied to investigators about it.
The two men — 54-year-old Vernon Lee Hoff and 31-year-old Kyler James Jensen, both from Finland, Minn. — have been charged with felony counts of making false statements to federal officers, along with misdemeanor charges of conspiracy and violation of the Endangered Species Act.
In February 2010, Jensen allegedly ran down the two gray wolves with his vehicle, investigators say. At that time, gray wolves were still listed as threatened species, but were removed from the list early this year.
After killing the wolves, Jensen then called up Hoff and the two came up with a plan to bury the wolves in Superior National Forest, according to the indictment.
The two allegedly used a bulldozer to hide the evidence.
The indictment says Hoff lied to United States Fish & Wildlife Service officials about his part in conspiring to bury the wolf carcasses.
If convicted, the two could be sentenced to five years in prison on the felony count of lying to federal officials, and one count each on the two misdemeanor charges.