Yesterday two Oneida County based potato farmers, Alvin C. Sowinski, and his son Paul A. Sowinski, were sentenced in Federal Court for their role in the poisoning of dozens of wildlife on their property. The two also allowed hunters and trappers to illegally kill predators for their canned hunting operations.
A father and son who operate a large potato farm in northern Wisconsin have been sentenced in federal court in Madison with the poisoning deaths of more than 70 wild animals, including at least two bald eagles.
Alvin C. Sowinski was ordered to pay $30,000 and spend 120 days on home detention. He was also placed on probation for one year and his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges were revoked for seven years.
His son, Paul A. Sowinski, was fined $10,000 in federal court. He will also serve one year of probation. His hunting, fishing and trapping privileges were revoked for five years.
The pair were sentenced on Monday, according to the office of U.S. Attorney John W. Vaudreuil.
The Sowinskis, who live in the Oneida County town of Sugar Camp, earlier had agreed to pay $100,000 in restitution.
According to documents filed by prosecutors, Alvin Sowinski used an insecticide, carbofuran, to poison bait piles to try to kill predators such as coyotes and gray wolves.
They also allowed the illegal killing of wildlife to enhance their canned hunting operations:
The two men also permitted hunters and trappers to kill predators to improve hunting for penned pheasants, grouse and deer for the Sowinskis and friends.
One such hunter and trapper was an undercover officer of the state Department of Natural Resources, who was told by Alvin Sowinski how he used poison to target predators.
The chemical killed several species of birds and mammals between May 2007 and March 2010, including a black bear, bobcat and at least two American bald eagles, officials said.
Then we have the obligatory quote from the prosecutor that approved of this no jail slap on the wrist:
“This sentence is both correct and just. The message to these two defendants and others should be very clear: wildlife in Wisconsin is for all of us to treasure, and indiscriminate, illegal killing will not be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil said.
But “indiscriminate” LEGAL killing is just fine though, like the hounding and trapping that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources encourages. They even built in a way to protect trappers and their “indiscriminate killing” when they report it.
Please Contact the DNR About Incidental Take!
The sale of fur from these carcasses is used to support the trapper education
program and educate new trappers.
If incidental catch of a protected species occurs, please contact your local
Conservation Warden or call 1-800-TIP-WDNR (1-800-847-9367) as soon
as possible for instructions on how to release an animal, or if dead, how to
transport it to the department. A protected species is any species for which the
season is closed, there is no open season, or a person has no authority to possess.
Indiscriminate illegal killing is not to be tolerated but indiscriminate legal killing is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to pay for “trapper education.” I could go on all day but this article is about the poisonings that Mr. Potatohead and his son were convicted for. It also turns out that Sowinski Farms is a MAJOR potato supplier for Frito Lay.
Sowinski Farms of Rhinelander, Wisconsin is one of the longest standing suppliers of chip stock potatoes to Frito-Lay. They signed their first contract with Frito in 1955. In 2009, Sowinski Farms received Frito-Lay’s 2009 North Central Region Grower of the Year Award. During the 2009 crop year, they were cited for delivering outstanding quality and the highest solids in Wisconsin, while delivering on their supply commitments at 100% contract compliance.
On the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article I pointed out in the comments that these two are a MAJOR Frito Lay supplier and immediately got lambasted by right wing trolls. One of which called the behavior of these two a “mistake in judgement.” I am not joking. Here is the exchange with some of the apologist trolls (pdc41 is me):
pdc41 – Today at 9:54 AM – Report Abuse
They are also a MAJOR supplier for Frito Lay. Remember that next time you purchase one of their products.
“Sowinski Farms of Rhinelander, Wisconsin is one of the longest standing suppliers of chip stock potatoes to Frito-Lay. They signed their first contract with Frito in 1955. In 2009, Sowinski Farms received Frito-Lay’s 2009 North Central Region Grower of the Year Award. During the 2009 crop year, they were cited for delivering outstanding quality and the highest solids in Wisconsin, while delivering on their supply commitments at 100% contract compliance.”
No Expert – Today at 11:48 AM – Report Abuse
Don’t really get how Frito Lay has any blame here.
6EQUJ5 – Today at 1:05 PM – Report Abuse
Frito Lay doesn’t deserve any blame here.Sowinski Farms produces about 30 million pounds of potatoes annually. Frito Lay uses about 2 billion pounds of potatoes annually. That’s about 1.5% of their potatoes.
And the post that takes the cake:
The Silent Ones – Today at 10:51 AM – Report Abuse
PDC: And What does knowing who one of their customers is have to do with their involvement and charges for poisoning wildlife? The people made a mistake in judgment and you want to bring the whole world down around them! If their business dealings had anything to do with this matter it would of been part of the proceedings.
Doing what you are doing is just down right nasty to all involved and the people that work for the potato farm!Perhaps someday if you have a minor accident (fender bender) because you answered a cell call the people involved should escalate it to a felony so as to destroy your life!
pdc41 – Today at 12:46 PM – Report Abuse
Yes because being in a fender bender over answering a cell call is EXACTLY the same as indiscriminately poisoning wildlife. How is deliberately poisoning countless numbers of wildlife a “mistake in judgement?” Wow, there really are apologists for everything. I suppose that you think NAMBLA is just a “misunderstood” child welfare organization as well? These people are sadistic criminals and they won’t get one dime of my money and I encourage others to do the same.
The Silent Ones – Today at 12:57 PM – Report Abuse
Absolutely not! Apologetic???? Ya right!
They should get what they deserve! I am all for punishing them for arbitrarily killing wildlife. However I do not condone viciously attacking back!
PDC is deciding what they should get as a punishment, not the Judge! To me that is vigilantly justice! There are other people involved here, innocent people. The other employee’s who work the potato farm. The ones who will be laid off if the Frito Lay contract is lost.
Is that what you want for a punishment PDC? Well!!!
pdc41 – Today at 1:10 PM – Report Abuse
As a consumer I have every right to choose what I purchase or recommend for others to purchase. As a citizen I have a Constitutional right to express those opinions on any matter that I wish. If you have a problem with that I suggest taking a gander at that Constitution that you righties like to hold in such regard. Of course I would bet that you skip right past that pesky little 1st Amendment and go right to the 2nd one. Because as we know that is the most important one. Judging from your comment history you seem to have no problem attacking Trek. What about their employees that are impacted by YOUR attacks? There are other people involved with them too. Innocent people. Is that what you want for punishment for them “Silent One?” Well?????
The exchange went on with the hypocrisy of the troll getting more and more desperate. The point being that there are internet trolls out there will jump to the defense of any nefarious behavior especially if it involves anti-wildlife factions and the corporations that do business with them. The above poster had dozens of prior comments attacking Trek Corporation for “outsourcing” yet found it “nasty” that I merely pointed out that Frito Lay does business with the two convicted poachers. The fact that certain (likely paid) trolls immediately hold a major corporation in bed with these criminals faultless says quite a bit.
Frito Lay is not innocent in this situation especially considering that they continue their relationship with Sowinski Farms after the two were charged says much about them as it does about the apologist trolls protecting them.
Let Frito Lay know your feelings about their relationships with these wildlife poachers:
P.O. Box 66063
Dallas TX 75266-0634
M-F 9:00AM – 4:30PM CT
Shame on the two Sowinskis, Frito Lay, and the trolls that are their apologists. Should we expect any less from the Blood Sport Capital of the United States?