Obscene animal cruelty. California Big game hunters busted by Feds

Lee Heidhues 3.31.2023

The level of cruelty exhibited by the human species boggles my mind.

This story says it all.

When convicted this pair of insensitive and subhuman beings deserve nothing less than the maximum sentence.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 3.31.2023

A big game hunter allegedly flew from Pakistan to San Francisco International Airport with eight animal carcasses in his luggage, including an endangered Ladakh urial sheep, federal prosecutors said in an indictment that charged the California man and his accused Pakistani conspirator with smuggling and violations of the Endangered Species Act.

Jason Keith Bruce, of Galt (Sacramento County) faces up to 25 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted of crimes stemming from a trip to Pakistan in 2018, during which he shot the sheep known for its large swooping horns. Bruce, 49, allegedly paid $50,000 to a hunting outfitter, Pir Danish Ali, to facilitate the kill, and the two planned to ship the dead sheep back to the U.S. by forging documents they claimed were from Pakistani authorities, labeling the animal a different species.

An investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement later revealed that at least 25 hunters working with Ali’s company used false papers to sneak upwards of 97 trophies into the U.S. between 2013 and 2018.

The Ladakh urial, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urial a regal sheep with sandy fur and a beard-like ruff at its neck beneath a crown of horns, roams the mountains of western central Asia where its population has dwindled dramatically.

Pir told Bruce that a recent survey logged 180 of the sheep in the region around the time of the hunt, according to the indictment. The sheep’s scarcity has evidently made it tantalizing to hunters and poachers: In 2016, two army personnel and a civilian were reportedly arrested for poaching a Ladakh urial in India.

Location Map of Ladakh Urial

That same year, Bruce and Ali, 43, allegedly began plotting their own hunt and developing a scheme to smuggle the trophy. An investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement later revealed 

A federal grand jury returned the indictment on March 23, paving the way for Bruce’s arrest the following day. Ali could be incarcerated for up to five years and fined $250,000 if convicted of the conspiracy charge.