LANSING, MI - Three residents from Kent County and another from Chippewa County have been arrested on charges related to buying and selling wildlife, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced.\r\nThe arrests are the result of a multiyear investigation by the DNR\u2019s Special Investigations Unit.\r\nThe complaint originated from information gathered from confidential informants who were concerned about the illegal trade in black bear parts.\r\n\u201cIndividuals soliciting for the purchase of black bear parts creates a market for the illegal parts and provides a financial incentive for poachers to take the animals during closed seasons, in excess of established limits and by unlawful methods,\u201d said DNR Detective Lt. Jason Haines, who heads the investigative unit. \u201cThere is a black market for black bear parts in Asia, where the parts are used for medicinal purposes.\u201d\r\nIn all, 11 misdemeanors were charged among the three male, and one female, defendants.\r\nEach of the charges carries a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail, plus $1,500 reimbursement for each animal illegally purchased.\r\nThe Kent County Prosecuting Attorney\u2019s Office authorized charges against the following individuals, who are Grand Rapids-area residents:\r\n\r\n\r\n\tTuan Hoa Pham, 52, of Kentwood, Michigan, was charged with one count of buying bear parts and one count of buying sport-caught fish.\r\n\tHoang Linh-Duy Tran, 45, of Wyoming, Michigan, was charged with two counts of buying a black bear.\r\n\tHoa Trung Huynh, 51, of Kentwood, Michigan, was charged with one count of illegally possessing black bear parts and one count of aiding and abetting the purchase of black bear parts.\r\n\r\nThe three defendants were arrested and lodged in the Kent County Jail in Grand Rapids. They have waived arraignment and are scheduled for a pretrial hearing Aug. 27, in Kent County District Court.\r\nIn the Upper Peninsula, the Chippewa County Prosecuting Attorney\u2019s Office issued a five-count warrant against a Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, man:\r\nHieu Van Hoang, 45, was charged with purchasing bear and deer parts.\r\nHoang was served the warrants in the Chippewa County Jail in Sault Ste. Marie, where he is being detained on a felony of allegedly attempting to murder his wife.\r\nHoang was arraigned on the wildlife misdemeanors in Chippewa County District Court. A pretrial hearing on those charges is set for Aug. 18.\r\n\u201cThe Special Investigations Unit plays a vital role investigating and arresting major violators and its cases often include interstate and international violations,\u201d said DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler. \u201cThe unit\u2019s role in the law enforcement division is to use undercover investigations and the latest in technology and forensics to apprehend poachers and others who are illegally commercializing fish and game in our state.\u201d\r\nHagler said the investigative unit works with DNR conservation officers to build strong cases and to protect Michigan\u2019s natural resources.\r\nAnyone with information on the illegal commercialization of any Michigan fish or wildlife or any other natural resources violations is encouraged to call the DNR\u2019s Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.