Emil McCain, Part 1
On April 2, 2009 Emil McCain met with a USFWS Special Agent (SA) for an interview regarding the criminal investigation that began the day before into Macho B’s capture and death. McCain told the SA he was “totally willing to talk to the agent and happy to be involved in a formal investigation where the truth would come out and be reported.” However, “he did not feel comfortable answering questions without the presence of an attorney.”
McCain did not speak with the USFWS SAs again until his first “use immunity” interview held at the U.S. Attorney’s office on January 15, 2010 with his lawyer present.
After several “use immunity” interviews McCain was only charged with the Endangered Species Act violation of “knowingly attempt to trap, capture and collect without lawful permit or authority a jaguar, an endangered species.”
I heard McCain first plead not guilty, but then changed his plea to guilty. His punishment was five years probation which included not working on any large cat or large carnivore project in the U.S. during that time. There was also a $1000 fine. Later AZGFD charged him with an $8000 fine and took away his hunting license.
McCain’s punishment had no immediate effect on him and perhaps still doesn’t. It was rumored that shortly after his pleading guilty he left for Spain where his girlfriend, a veterinarian with an Iberian Lynx project, had hooked him up with a job working with the lynx. The Iberian Lynx is one of the rarest wild felids of the WORLD. In fact, McCain co-authored a scientific paper about using scent lures to attract the Iberian Lynx to camera sets (see blogroll for link).