2 troopers accused in deadly clubbing of seagulls

2 troopers accused in deadly clubbing of seagulls »Play Video
SEATTLE -- State wildlife officials are investigating two state troopers accused in the deadly clubbing of three seagulls, which are protected under state law.

Washington State Patrol Capt. Jeff DeVere said the agency first learned of the allegations last week.

"We received a report internally that two troopers may have improperly dispatched some seagulls on Colman Dock," he said.

The two accused troopers are said to be 10- and 13-year veterans of the force, and assigned to the Homeland Security Division at the dock.

DeVere said the circumstances surrounding the incident were not immediately clear, and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating.

"Apparently seagulls are protected animals, and if the allegations are proven true, it could be a potential crime. So (the Department of) Fish and Wildlife is investigating that," DeVere said.

The two troopers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Fish and wildlife officials said they've not found any dead seagulls at Colman Dock, but are collecting evidence.

If convicted, the troopers can face fines of up to $5,000 and up to 1 year in jail.

The Washington State Patrol will conduct its own independent review following the completion of the criminal investigation.