Chassell man arrested after selling bear parts, operating illegal businesses

Courtesy:  Michigan DNR

HOUGHTON — A Chassell man was arrested and arraigned Wednesday in 97th District Court, Houghton County, on a six–count warrant after a lengthy undercover investigation by detectives with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division’s Special Investigations Unit.

Danny Loyd, 56, was arrested on a warrant authorized by the Houghton County Prosecutor’s Office.  A search warrant also was served on his residence and place of business by Special Investigations Unit investigators and District 1 conservation officers that resulted in the seizure of a number of items.

Loyd was arraigned on two counts of selling bear parts, one count of carrying passengers for hire without a certificate of inspection, one count of advertising to carry passengers for hire without a certificate of inspection, one count of conducting a taxidermy business without a permit, and using a computer to commit a crime.  Further proceedings will take place in the 97th District Court of Houghton.

During the course of the investigation Loyd sold bear meat and organs to undercover investigators, which is prohibited by law.  The investigation also established that Loyd had been operating a charter fishing business utilizing a vessel that had not been inspected and found to meet the required safety standards.  Area conservation officers also had received complaints regarding Loyd’s taxidermy business, which was unlicensed.

“The illegal sale of black bear parts supplies a market for the illegal parts and provides a financial incentive for poachers to take the animals during closed seasons, in excess of established limits and by unlawful methods,” said Detective Lt. Jason Haines. “There is a black market for black bear parts in Asia, where the parts are used for medicinal purposes.”

“The Special Investigations Unit plays a vital role investigating and arresting major violators, and its cases often include interstate and international violations,” said DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler. “The unit’s role in the Law Enforcement Division is to use undercover investigations, the latest in technology and forensics to apprehend poachers and others who are illegally commercializing fish and game in our state.  The unit works with our conservation officers to build strong cases and to protect our natural resources.”

Anyone with information of the illegal commercialization of any Michigan wildlife or fish or any natural resources violations is encouraged to call the Report All Poaching hotline at 800–292–7800.