Smuggled 9 Black Bear Gall Bladders into the U.S.
BALTIMORE - Terrence Beaulac, age 39, of Chesapeake Beach and Richard Dempsey, age 38, of Lothian, pleaded guilty today to illegally importing nine black bear gall bladders into the United States from Canada, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the statements of facts provided to the court as part of their plea agreements, on May 28, 2005, Beaulac and Dempsey traveled from Baltimore to Saskatchewan, Canada to hunt black bears. They removed nine gall bladders from black bears killed during hunting trips.
On June 6, 2005, the defendants were to return to Baltimore. Dempsey asked Kimberley Scherer, another member of the hunting party, to transport the black bear gall bladders in her suitcase back to Baltimore. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents stopped Beaulac, Dempsey and Scherer during a change of planes at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Beaulac and Dempsey admitted to knowing that importing the gall bladders was illegal. The men planned to sell the gall bladders to an individual in Maryland for use in Chinese herbal medicine. They had previously sold black bear gall bladders to the individual for $50-$100 each.
Beaulac and Dempsey face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Scherer, age 37, of Waldorf, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trafficking in wildlife and faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for February 7, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. for all three defendants.