This really chaps my hide. Details of the criminals after the jump.
DEC POLICE ARREST BEAR POACHERS
The Adirondack early bear season has been open for less than two weeks and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 5 Environmental Conservation Police are busy seeking out and catching poachers.
DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) are out patrolling, staking out, and observing the lands on which people hunt. They are in uniform and undercover; they are in vehicles and on foot; they are checking licenses and watching over decoys. ECOs have already handled a number of reports of poaching.
“Most hunters pursue and take game in a legal manner,” said DEC Region 5 Law Enforcement Captain Lawrence DiDonato. “However, we will continue to make every effort to stop poachers from illegally and unfairly killing game at the expense of legitimate sportsman and game populations. DEC has great respect for the legitimate sporting public, and invites them, and others, to join our efforts to combat poaching.”
The early bear season opened on Saturday, September 19. Routine patrol and investigations have led to a number of arrests for illegally taking bear, mainly by baiting, prior to and shortly after opening day.
On Sept. 18, ECOs arrested Adam D. Hart, 29, of Chestertown, NY, and Joseph M. Anselmo, 25, of Hadley, NY in the Town of Chester. Hart was charged with three misdemeanors: taking a bear during the closed season, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a church and taking big game with the aid of an artificial light. Anselmo was charged with two misdemeanors taking a bear during the closed season and taking big game with the aid of an artificial light. ECOs had received an anonymous call at approximately 10:50 PM stating a black bear was observed in Pottersville and a short time later three gunshots were heard. ECOs, State Police Troopers and Warren County Sheriff Deputies responded to the scene and detained three suspects. It was determined Anselmo had shined a flashlight on the bear, while Hart shot the bear at close range. Law enforcement staff located the bear, which was badly wounded and had to be dispatched. On Sept. 22, Hart and Anselmo each pleaded guilty in Town of Chester Criminal Court to taking a bear during the closed season and taking big game with the aid of an artificial light. Hart paid a $500 fine and Anselmo paid a $300 fine.
On Sept. 19, ECOs arrested Warren J. Kilburn, 39, of Amsterdam, NY, and Lawrence F. Bodway, 55, of Corinth, NY, in the Town of Johnsburg. Kilburn and Bodway were each charged with two misdemeanors: hunting black bear with the aid of a pre-established bait pile and illegally feeding whitetail deer. ECOs had located an illegal bait pile on Sept. 18, in response to a complaint of illegal baiting. Upon returning to the site on ECOs allegedly found the men hunting over the bait pile. The men were ticketed and are schedule to appear in the Town of Johnsburg Criminal Court on Sept. 30.
On Sept. 19, ECOs arrested James C. Schnelly, 50, of Northville, NY, in the Town of Hope. He was charged with hunting bear with the aid of a pre-established bait pile and feeding bears during the open hunting season – both violations. Schnelly had allegedly established a bait pile before the hunting season to feed bear and was hunting over it on opening day. The tickets are returnable in the Town of Hope Criminal Court on Oct. 6.
On Sept. 19, ECOs arrested William Murray, Jr., 53, of Scotia, NY, in the Town of Long Lake. He was charged with hunting bear with the aid of a pre-established bait pile – a violation. Murray had allegedly established two bait piles on state lands near his leased lands before the hunting season to feed bear and was hunting over it on opening day. The tickets are returnable in the Town of Long Lake Criminal Court on Oct. 1.
On Sept. 23, ECOs arrested Jeffrey S. Chapman, 34, of Gloversville, NY, in the Town of Wells. He was charged with taking a bear over bait- a misdemeanor – and two violations: failure to tag bear and feeding bears during the open hunting season. Chapman had allegedly established a bait pile before the hunting season to feed bear and killed a bear over it on opening day. The tickets are returnable in the Town of Wells Criminal Court on Oct. 13.
On Sept. 19, ECOs arrested Fred Wilson III, 49, of Moira, NY in the Town of Brandon. He was charged with hunting bear with the aid of pre established bait pile – a violation. Wilson had established a bait pile before the hunting season to feed bear and was hunting over it on opening day. Wilson pleaded guilty to the charge in the Town of Brandon Criminal Court on Sept. 29 and paid a $125 fine.
On Sept. 26, ECOs arrested Francis Laporte, 42, and Kyle Laporte, 17, both of West Chazy, NY, in the Town of Santa Clara. Both men were charged with hunting bear with the aid of a pre-established bait pile – a violation. An ECO, acting on information from a DEC forest ranger about a bait pile on state land, approached the area and allegedly found the two men in a blind, with firearms, watching the bait pile. The tickets are returnable in the Town of Santa Clara Criminal Court on Oct. 14.
Violations are punishable by fines up to $250 each, while misdemeanors are punishable by fines up to $2,000. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
DEC Environmental Conservation Police will continue to patrol, stake out, and observe state and private lands on which people hunt throughout the hunting season. The public is encourage to provide information to DEC regarding poaching activities through the “Turn In Polluters and Poachers” (TIPPs) program. Poaching and other environmental crimes may be reported to the DEC 24-hour dispatch at 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332) or by e-mail to R5dsptch@gw.dec.state.ny.us