Two men arrested for illegal purchases of black bear parts

black bear
Two central Michigan men were arrested on charges for the illegal purchase of black bear parts.

Police began investigating the matter after a tip was left for them.

An individual was approached by the two Midland men inquiring about the purchase of black bear parts, and that individual reported the illegal activity to a local conservation officer.

Detective Lieutenant Brian Haines is with the Michigan DNR Law Enforcement Division, and he said the two defendants were interested in acquiring the gallbladder and paws of the bears.

“There’s a section of the population that believes certain parts of the bear have medicinal value to them,” he said. “They will use them is various ways, whether they dry the parts, such as the gallbladder, or they dry it, grind it up and put it in different drinks, such as tea.”

Haines said the unlawful killing and purchase of wildlife is of concern because it provides a financial incentive to poachers.

Each of these counts against the defendants carries a fine of up to one-thousand dollars and 90 days in jail.

Haines said the two defendants are to be arraigned no later than Thursday, March 13, 2014.