Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SEVEN RIPLEY COUNTY MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY TO VIOLATE THE FEDERAL LACEY ACT BY USING DOGS & ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES TO HUNT DEER

Map of Missouri highlighting Ripley CountyImage via WikipediaSEVEN RIPLEY COUNTY MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO CHARGES OF CONSPIRACY TO VIOLATE THE FEDERAL LACEY ACT BY USING DOGS & ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES TO HUNT DEER
 
ST. LOUIS Mo -- The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that seven men from Doniphan and the surrounding area have entered guilty pleas, and were each ordered to pay fines from $500 to $1500 involving a conspiracy to illegally hunt deer in the Mark Twain National Forest with the aid of dogs and all-terrain vehicles.
According to court documents, it was part of the conspiracy that the defendants illegally hunted deer in the Mark Twain National Forest by utilizing dogs and all-terrain vehicles to assist with the hunt. They released some dogs wearing radio-location transmitters on their dog collars to scare the deer and cause them to run from the dogs. The dogs chased the deer to keep them running, which assisted the hunters in locating them. They were able to track the location of the dogs (and thus the location of the deer) by using radio telemetry, which picked up radio transmissions attached to the dog collars. They also used marine-band radios to evade law-enforcement officers by transmitting the locations of Missouri Conservation Agents during a hunt with dogs and the location of co-defendants, dogs, and deer.
Pleading Friday, Sept. 3, in Cape Girardeau:
Mitchell G. Pearson, 23, Fairdealing, MO;
Neil Turner, 27, Naylor, MO;
Kevin Turner, 31, Doniphan, MO;
Jackie Elliott, 56, Doniphan, MO;
Nathan Foulks, 45, Doniphan, MO; and
Nicholas S. Keck, 29, Doniphan, MO.
Frank S. Moman, 30, Doniphan, MO, entered his plea today in Cape Girardeau.
Each defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally hunt deer in the Mark Twain National Forest by utilizing dogs to assist with the hunt between Nov. 14, 2008, and Nov. 25, 2008, all in violation of 16 U.S.C. §§ 3372(a)(1) and 3373(d)(2).
Henry L. Hudson, 57, Doniphan, MO, faces the same charges and is awaiting trial.
This charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or fines up to $100,000.
This case was investigated by the Missouri Department of Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The charges set forth in an information are merely accusations, and defendant Hudson is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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