By Dave Hurteau & Chad Love
From an AP story in The Hayes Daily News:
A Morris County farmer will be able to hunt again after President Bush pardoned him on Tuesday, clearing a felony from his record that prevented him from being able to hunt for the past 10 years. . . .
Kenneth Britt, on the advice of his attorney, pleaded guilty to one felony charge related to a deer-hunting incident that involved several other people, including his brother, Ronald Britt.
Kenneth Britt was sentenced in 1998 to three years of probation for conspiracy to violate federal and state fish and wildlife laws, and was ordered to pay $8,250 in restitution. . .
"I live on a farm out here in the middle of Kansas and I like to hunt," Britt said. "I haven't been able to hunt for about 10 years. I'd like to do it again."
Now that all sounds just fine, doesn’t it? But there’s something missing here. I read every report I could find on this story this morning, and not one of them details what Britt did to get himself in so much trouble. Then I came across a link posted on The Topeka Capital-Journal’s online reader-comment section to a story previously published in that paper, entitled “Britt’s Lawbreaking Wasn’t By Accident,” which reads in part:
Seems like three brothers, Ronald, Keith and Brent Britt, operated a hunting service called Clark's Creek Outfitters. They had a good success rate for their clients, especially on white-tail deer.
For the last two seasons the brothers booked (unknowingly, of course) undercover agents from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks.
The agents watched the brothers in action. They used CBs, chased deer in pickups, regularly trespassed on land they were forbidden to enter, shot over the limit, sold venison ... a whole string of offenses. . . .
THESE ARE SOME notorious dudes. I've heard from people around White City and they, to a person, agreed with my initial column when I called the Britt brothers "scum."
So now that you have the back-story—or at least a version of it—what do you think of the pardon? And what do you think were the President's reasons?