WA couple plead guilty in wolf killing case

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- A Twisp, Wash., couple have pleaded guilty to federal charges in the killing of a protected gray wolf and an attempt to ship its bloody pelt to Canada.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that 37-year-old Tom White pleaded guilty to killing two endangered gray wolves, in May and December of 2008. His wife, Erin White, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to export an endangered species.

Under a plea agreement, prosecutors are expected to recommend that both Tom and Erin White be sentenced July 11 to three years' probation. Tom White agreed to pay fines and restitution of $30,000, with his wife paying $5,000.

The case stemmed from a 2008 report of a bloody package that had been left with a private shipping company in Omak. A suspicious employee called police, who opened the package and discovered a fresh wolf hide.

Prosecutors say Tom White admitted killing that wolf and another. His wife admitted trying to ship the pelt.