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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2005

EIGHT PEOPLE ARRESTED FOR HUNTING VIOLATIONS

From the AP WIRE Today's stories

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 9:45 am

AUGUSTA, Maine - Game wardens arrested eight men on numerous violations including night hunting and hunting while under the influence following an investigation in the Damariscotta area, the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said.

The men were arrested Monday night after six search warrants were served.

More charges may be filed, officials said.

"This small family group was responsible for the illegal killing or wounding of at least 30 deer this fall," Maj. Greg Sanborn said. "They repeatedly night hunted off residents´ front lawns. They used night vision technology to avoid detection and committed numerous violations while hunting during the daylight hours. "

Warden Phil Dugas said in an affidavit to the court that members of the group hunted and handled firearms while under the influence of drugs. Dugas said he was "appalled and frightened for the safety of the general public " where the illegal hunting took place.

More than 70 officials, including wardens, Lincoln and Knox counties´ sheriff´s deputies, support and communications staff and two Lincoln County assistant prosecutors, were involved in the investigation, the game department said.

Lincoln County Assistant District Attorney Lisa Bogue said those charged will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Evidence seized included deer meat, antlers, drugs, night vision equipment and stolen property.

One of those charged, 27-year-old Richard Austin of Damariscotta, faces six counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He also faces up to 25 charges of crimes including night hunting and hunting under the influence of intoxicants.

Others facing charges in the case include Brian Bennett, 24, of South Bristol; Johanthan Bennett, 23, of South Bristol; Benjamin Gallagher, 20, of Damariscotta; Joseph Gallagher, 54, of Damariscotta; Jason Gallagher, 24, of Warren; Casey Hanna, 20, of Bristol, and Keith Main, 26, of Damariscotta.

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