Hunting News

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

STREAMLIGHT® SPONSORS S.W.A.T. TEAM IN UPCOMING OUTDOOR CHANNEL TELEVISION SERIES



Blue Team Presented by Streamlight to Compete against Black Team Presented by Nosler in the New Original Program

EAGLEVILLE, PA, November 7, 2012 – Streamlight® Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-performance flashlights and weapon light/laser sighting devices, announced it will sponsor the Blue Team in Outdoor Channel’s new competition reality series, “Elite Tactical Unit: S.W.A.T.” (ETU), scheduled to premiere January 9, 2013 at 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT.

The one-hour show involves two teams – the Blue Team and the Black Team – made up of seven S.W.A.T. officers each who compete in weekly elimination challenges involving intense mental and physical skill. Streamlight will sponsor the Blue Team, which will compete against the Black Team, sponsored by Nosler, for a $10,000 individual prize, as well as cash and prizes valued at over $100,000 for the winner’s respective S.W.A.T. unit.

“We have the utmost respect for the difficult and challenging situations facing S.W.A.T. teams on a daily basis,” said Streamlight President and Chief Executive Officer Ray Sharrah. “As the lighting provider of choice to many tactical professionals, Streamlight is proud to be a part of the Outdoor Channel original series, ‘Elite Tactical Unit: S.W.A.T.,’ which will demonstrate what these brave men and women put on the line to protect our communities.”

Produced by Winnercomm, a division of Outdoor Channel Holdings, ETU is scheduled to air 12 episodes and a final “best of” special. The series will give viewers a peek inside the often dangerous and stressful conditions that S.W.A.T teams face on a daily basis.

About Streamlight
Headquartered in Eagleville, PA, Streamlight, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of high-performance lighting equipment, weapon light/laser sighting devices and vehicle solar charging devices for professional automotive, firefighting, law enforcement, military, industrial and outdoor applications. Streamlight is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company. For additional information, please call (800) 523-7488 or visit www.streamlight.com.

About Outdoor Channel
Taking viewers across America and around the world on unparalleled adventures since 1993, Outdoor Channel is America’s leader in outdoor TV. Dedicated to the outdoor lifestyle and conservation, the independent cable network is a division of Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: OUTD) and provides a complete spectrum of riveting hunting, fishing, shooting and adventure entertainment. Outdoor Channel reaches 38 million U.S. households – the largest outdoor TV footprint in the country – and is available in more than 45 countries internationally. Outdoor Channel can be viewed in HD and is accessible by broadband, mobile platforms. For program times and other information, visit www.outdoorchannel.com. 

About Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc.
Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: OUTD) owns and operates Outdoor Channel, America’s leader in outdoor TV, and Winnercomm Inc., an Emmy Award winning production and interactive company. Outdoor Channel offers programming that captures the excitement of hunting, fishing, shooting, adventure and the Western lifestyle and can be viewed on multiple platforms including high definition, video-on-demand, as well as on a dynamic broadband website. Winnercomm Inc. is one of America's leading and highest quality producers of live sporting events and sports series for cable and broadcast television. Outdoor Channel Holdings, Inc. also owns and operates the SkyCam and CableCam aerial camera systems which provide dramatic overhead camera angles for major sports events, including college and NFL football. For more information, please visit www.outdoorchannel.com.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Range Master



Range Master Tactical Gear focuses on proving the law enforcement and firefighting communities with work related clothing and equipment.  Moreover, the company is an excellent resource for security personnel, recreational shooters and others whose employed requires ruggedized safety equipment.

Their website is well designed and easy to navigate.  In addition to having a standard search feature, the website allows you to browse through their products and services by category as well as through a featured product function. Among the features of their website is a comprehensive and well written blog which explores, in depth, the various products and product lines they carry.

While most online companies are just that – online, Range Master Tactical Gear is an out growth of a well established and traditional brick and mortar company.  Thus their website contains information on use of their shooting range and, of course, their physical location. 

In looking through their product line, two of the interesting areas are “Business Tactical” and “Under Gear.”  As a consultant that travels internationally, I have come to respect the idea of Business Tactical.   Where ever you travel, you should have a “go bag” in your hotel room.  What do you need in case of an earthquake?  What should “grab and go” in an emergency?  Visit their business tactical section and think about what kind of “go bag” you need and what you would put in it.  My top three things in my “go bag” when I am in a foreign country are: 1) A map with the route to the nearest US facility; 2) Flashlight 3) Half roll of duct tape.

Lastly, visit the Under Gear section.  If you are working a field assignment, comfort and safety does start with your undergarments!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Members of Smuggling Ring Plead Guilty in Los Angeles to Crimes Relating to Illegal Trafficking of Endangered Rhinoceros Horn



WASHINGTON – Three defendants pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiracy, smuggling, Lacey Act violations, money laundering and tax fraud for their roles in the international illegal trafficking of rhinoceros horn.  All of the defendants were charged in February 2012 as part of “Operation Crash,” a nationwide U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crackdown on those involved in the black market trade of endangered rhinoceros horn.
 
The guilty pleas were announced by Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice; AndrĂ© Birotte Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California; and Dan Ashe, Director of the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

Vinh Chung “Jimmy” Kha, 49, and Felix Kha, 26, both of Garden Grove, Calif., each pleaded guilty to five felony counts related to their roles in the smuggling conspiracy.  Win Lee Corp., owned by Jimmy Kha, pleaded guilty to two felony counts charging smuggling and Lacey Act trafficking. 

Two other defendants linked to the Khas – J in Zhao Feng, 45, of China and Jarrod Wade Steffen, 32, of Hico, Texas – previously pleaded guilty to federal charges in Los Angeles related to rhino horn trafficking.
 
In their plea agreements, Jimmy and Felix Kha each admitted purchasing White and Black rhinoceros horn in interstate and intrastate commerce, knowing that animals were protected by federal law as endangered and threatened species.  Both defendants stated that they purchased the horns in order to export them overseas to be sold and made into libation cups or traditional medicine.  Both acknowledged making payments to Vietnamese customs officials to ensure clearance of horn shipments sent to that country.  In addition, Jimmy and Felix Kha each admitted to failing to pay income tax owed in 2009 and 2010. 

In an earlier plea agreement, which was filed with the court on Aug. 15, 2012, Feng admitted to fraudulently and knowingly attempting to smuggle a black rhinoceros horn, an endangered species, from the United States to China.  Steffen, who used money provided by the Khas to buy horns for them, pleaded guilty on June 14, 2012, to charges of conspiracy, smuggling, Lacey Act violations and money laundering.
            
“The Khas conspired to violate numerous federal laws, including those enacted by Congress to protect endangered species like the rhinoceros, a species that faces extinction in our time,” said Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno.  “This prosecution and continuing investigation should send a clear message that we will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who are involved in this egregious and illegal trade.”
 
“It is unconscionable that a species as ancient and majestic as the African Black Rhino has been hunted to the brink of extinction by unscrupulous profiteers,” said U.S. Attorney AndrĂ© Birotte Jr.  “The rhino horn smuggling ring dismantled by Operation Crash contributed to the soaring increase in the trade of rhino horns both domestically and internationally and this illegal trade leads directly to increased poaching of the species in the wild.  Operation Crash represents a giant step forward in the global fight to save a beautiful species like the Black Rhino from extinction.”
 
“These individuals were interested in one thing and one thing only – making money,” said FWS Director Dan Ashe.  “They didn’t care about the law or about driving a species to the brink of extinction. We will continue to aggressively investigate and pursue traffickers who threaten the future of rhinos and other imperiled species.”
 
Rhinoceros are an herbivore species of prehistoric origin and one of the largest remaining mega-fauna on earth.   They have no known predators other than humans.  All species of rhinoceros are protected under United States and international law, and all black rhinoceros species are endangered.
 
Since 1976, trade in rhinoceros horn has been regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a treaty signed by over 170 countries around the world to protect fish, wildlife and plants that are or may become imperiled due to the demands of international markets.  Nevertheless, the demand for rhinoceros horn and black market prices have skyrocketed in recent years due to the value that some cultures have placed on ornamental carvings, good luck charms or alleged medicinal purposes, leading to a decimation of the global rhinoceros population.  As a result, rhino populations have declined by more than 90 percent since 1970.  South Africa, for example, has witnessed a rapid escalation in poaching of live animals, rising from 13 in 2007 to a record 448 rhinos in 2011.  As of Aug. 27, the total for 2012 stood at 339 rhinos, with a predicted loss of 515 by year end if current poaching rates continue.
 
Operation Crash (named for the term used to describe a herd of rhinoceros) is an ongoing effort to detect, deter and prosecute those engaged in the illegal killing of rhinoceros and the unlawful trafficking of rhinoceros horns.  The investigation is being led by the Special Investigations Unit of the FWS Office of Law Enforcement and involves a nationwide task force of FWS special agents focused on rhino trafficking.
 
The first superseding information, plea agreements and statements made during court proceedings document the following facts:

 During the conspiracy, beginning in January 2010 and continuing to February 2012, Felix Kha would contact Steffen and others regarding individuals located throughout the United States who were willing to sell white or black rhinoceros horn.  On various dates, Jimmy Kha met with others who traveled to Long Beach, Calif., from various locations to provide compensation for previous rhinoceros horn purchases and shipments and to provide money to fund future purchases and shipments of rhinoceros horn.  Jimmy and Felix Kha received, bought, sold and facilitated the transportation of black rhinoceros horn, prior to exportation, knowing that such rhinoceros horn was intended for exportation and that it was illegal under U.S. law to do so.  Jimmy Kha paid, on average, between $5,000 to $7,000 per pound of rhinoceros horn.  The black and white rhinoceros horn acquired by the defendants   has a fair market value between, at a minimum, $1 million to $2.5 million.

 Feng attempted to export a black rhinoceros horn, which he had obtained from the Khas,  from the U.S. to China, by concealing the horn at the bottom of a package. The package, which was deposited with the U.S. Postal Service, contained a single black rhinoceros horn concealed under a layer of chocolates, cigarettes, biscuits, candy, sponges and packing materials.  F eng falsely declared on a U.S. Postal Service Customs Declaration that the package contained “handcraft decorations” with a value of $25, “chocolate” with a value of $46, and “candy” with a value of $15.

 As a supplier for the Khas, Steffen bought and mailed dozens of rhino horns to the pair and made at least 10 trips to California to pick up payment and collect money for additional purchases.  On the last of these trips, Transportation and Security Administration officers, acting at the FWS’s request, stopped Steffan and two travel companions at the airport in Long Beach before they boarded their homebound flight and retrieved $337,000 from their luggage.
 
In February 2012 at the time of the arrest of Jimmy and Felix Kha, FWS agents seized, among other items, rhinoceros mounts, rhinoceros horns, an additional $1 million in cash, approximately $1 million in gold ingots, jewelry, watches, precious stones, a 2009 BMW 759 Li Sedan and a 2008 Toyota Forerunner.
 
Jimmy and Felix Kha each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy (maximum penalty of five years in prison), one count of smuggling goods from the United States (maximum penalty of ten years in prison), one count of Lacey Act trafficking (maximum penalty of five years in prison), one count of money laundering (maximum penalty of twenty years in prison), and one count of tax evasion (maximum penalty of five years in prison).  Win Lee Corp. faces additional penalties, including fines totaling up to $1 million. Under the terms of their plea agreements, all of the items recovered from their residence, person, and Jimmy Kha’s business will be forfeited.  In addition, Felix Kha will pay a tax fraud penalty and assessment of approximately $109,000, and Jimmy Kha will pay a tax fraud penalty and assessment of $76,000.
 
Jimmy and Felix are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder on Dec. 10, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.  Feng will be sentenced on Oct. 10, 2012, and Steffen will be sentenced on Oct. 15, 2012.
 
U.S. Attorney Birotte Jr. and Assistant Attorney General Moreno commended FWS and its partners for their outstanding work on this investigation.  Assisting agencies included the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
 
The case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph O. Johns and Dennis Mitchell and Shennie Patel, a Trial Attorney with the Environmental Crimes Section, are in charge of the prosecution.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CBP Advises Hunters of New Requirements for Game Fowl as Hunting Season Approaches


San Diego – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are advising hunters who may travel to Mexico for dove or quail hunting of new requirements for their game fowl prior to their return to the United States at a port of entry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Veterinary Services has implemented this new requirement in response to the recent confirmation of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza at commercial poultry production facilities in Mexico. The purpose of these new requirements is to prevent further spread of this virus and to protect U.S. poultry.

Fresh, uncooked, hunter-harvested game bird carcasses brought from Mexico for human consumption are prohibited. If the carcass for human consumption has a fully-cooked appearance, as determined by CBP, it may be allowed. These carcasses are different from hunter-harvested carcasses that are brought as trophies from Mexico.

Hunters wishing to import trophy game fowl taken during a hunting trip in Mexico must have an approved import permit for the birds from USDA’s Office of Veterinary Services. A bulletin advising of the import permit requirement for avian trophies from Mexico can be found at the following link.  

Hunters should declare all game fowl to CBP upon their arrival at a U.S. port of entry and present the USDA Veterinary Services import permit. They are also subject to verification of the import documentation by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer.

For information on Fish and Wildlife Service requirements for bringing game birds from Mexico, please click on the attached link.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

CBP Advises Hunters to Obtain USDA Import Permits for Game Fowl as Hunting Season Approaches


Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is advising hunters who may travel to Mexico for dove or quail hunting of a new requirement to obtain import permits from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Veterinary Services (USDA-VS) for their game fowl prior to their return to the U.S at a port of entry.

“As the game fowl season in Mexico rapidly approaches, we at CBP together with USDA are reaching out to U.S. hunters to advise of this new requirement so that they avoid delays and possible confiscation of their trophy birds upon their return to the U.S.,” said Jose Uribe, Acting CBP Port Director, Laredo.

Under a new requirement, hunters wishing to import trophy game fowl taken during a hunting trip in Mexico must have an approved import permit for the birds from USDA’s Office of Veterinary Services. A bulletin advising of the import permit requirement for avian trophies from Mexico can be found at the following link.

Hunters should declare all game fowl to CBP upon their arrival at a U.S. port of entry and present the USDA/Veterinary Services import permit. They also will face a verification of the import documentation from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer.

This new requirement has been instituted by USDA in response to the recent confirmation of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) at commercial poultry production facilities in Mexico. The purpose of these new requirements is to prevent further spread of this virus and to protect U.S. poultry.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Cleanup and Natural Resources Improvement Agreement Reached at Ashland Lakefront Superfund Site in Wisconsin


WASHINGTON – Northern States Power Co. will begin cleanup of the Ashland/Northern States Power Lakefront Superfund Site in Northwestern Wisconsin under a settlement the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.  The 40-acre site is located on the shore of Chequamegon Bay in Lake Superior and was used for various industrial purposes for more than a century, resulting in the release of volatile organic compounds, such as benzene, and semivolatile organic compounds, such as naphthalene, at the site.

 Under the agreement, filed today with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis., Northern States Power will design, construct and implement the cleanup plan for the on-land portion of the site.  The on-land cleanup is expected to cost approximately $40 million.  The United States will also require additional cleanup of sediments in Chequamegon Bay, and expects that Northern States Power and any other responsible parties will perform the rest of the cleanup. That work is not part of the agreement filed with the Court today.

 Today’s agreement also requires Northern States Power to transfer approximately 990 acres of land along the Iron River to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and 400 acres within the reservation of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to the Bad River tribe.  These parcels, worth about $1.9 million, will be preserved by the state and the Bad River tribe to enhance natural resources in the area that have been harmed by pollution from the site, such as fisheries in Chequamegon Bay and its rivers.  In addition, the state of Wisconsin will transfer 114 acres of land to the Red Cliff Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.  That land will also be managed to preserve natural resources.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also serve as trustees for natural resources in the area and joined the settlement on behalf of the United States.

“This agreement will begin the long-awaited cleanup of contamination at the Ashland Lakefront site,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The agreement will result in the preservation of land in the Chequamegon Bay watershed, including tribal lands, to conserve and enhance natural resources and aquatic habitat that have been harmed by more than a century of pollution at the site.”

 “Chequamegon Bay and Lake Superior will be better protected as a result of this agreement,” said EPA Region 5 Regional Administrator Susan Hedman.  “Removing the most highly contaminated soil from the site and controlling the flow of contaminated groundwater will prevent polluted water from entering the bay and harming fisheries.”

 For more than a century, the Ashland site has been home to various industrial uses, including sawmills, railroads, and a city wastewater treatment plant.  The primary source of pollution at the site was the manufactured gas plant operated by Northern States Power’s predecessor company between 1885 and 1947.  Pollution from the manufactured gas plant contaminated both the on-land portion of the site and the sediment in the bay.

 The on-land cleanup will include removal of source material and impacted soil in Kreher Park and the adjacent bluff area and recovery wells designed to remove pollution from the Copper Falls aquifer.  The work Northern States Power will perform under this agreement is expected to take approximately two to three years.

 EPA will oversee the work to ensure that it follows the cleanup plan and complies with the agreement signed by the parties.  The state of Wisconsin will support EPA in overseeing the work.

 The proposed consent decree will be subject to public comment for 30 days prior to entry in federal court.   The consent decree will be available at www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

CBP Officers at LAX Seize Exotic Endangered Animal Products Found in Passenger’s Luggage


Los Angeles—U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Los Angeles International Airport, recently seized seven ivory tusks, one hippopotamus tusk and seven purses made of ostrich, stingray, crocodile and elephant skins inside several suitcases belonging to a U.S. citizen arriving from Europe.

On June 27, CBP officers referred a passenger for a baggage examination. The passenger, a 63-year-old woman, who traveled from Greece via Germany, provided a negative declaration to CBP officers about the items she was bringing into the country. An x-ray examination of the passenger's three suitcases and a large rectangular metal box revealed a tusk-like object in the box that the passenger said was an “elephant tooth” from her deceased uncle’s estate.

CBP officers consulted with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents which confirmed that all 15 items were prohibited from importation under the Endangered Species Act.

CBP officers seized seven ivory tusks, several of which were carved into statues, one hippopotamus tusk, two ostrich-skin purses, one stingray leather purse, a purse made of elephant hide, and three crocodile purses.

“Enforcing laws that protect endangered animal life by aggressively preventing the illegal introduction of these products into the U.S. is one of the many aspects of the CBP border security mission,” said Todd C. Owen, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “CBP enforces hundreds of U.S. regulations for other agencies in addition to immigration and trade laws.”

The CBP primary mission is anti-terrorism. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States, while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel into and out of the United States.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.