By Gary Gerhardt, Rocky Mountain News
November 30, 2006
MEEKER - Six New York hunters and a friend from Massachusetts spent a
night in jail and paid $42,000 in fines for killing deer illegally near
State Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said someone
notified game wardens there was a group of men in a black Hummer with
out-of-state plates that may have illegally shot a deer on private
On Nov. 17, wildlife officers collected evidence and talked to people
in the area.
No one witnessed the poaching, but everyone saw the Hummer cruising
area roads with its occupants apparently watching deer and elk herds.
The Hummer was located at an area ranch bunkhouse along with the
seven hunters, who were identified as: David Souza Jr., 49, Thomas Gray,
35, and Raymond Selah Jr., 41, all of Johnsville, N.Y.; Robert Bertholde,
54, and Timothy Rocklin, 21, both of Fort Plain, N.Y.; David Weber, 34,
of Nelliston, N.Y.; and Stanley Tomkiewicz, 60, of Acushnet, Mass.
The men consented to a search of the bunkhouse and surrounding
property, and wildlife officers said they found a number of animal
carcasses and antlers.
Several carcasses were legally tagged, but others did not have tags,
or the tags were invalid, officers said. Several of the carcasses were
The local district attorney and Division of Wildlife officers agreed
to allow each of the men to plead guilty to illegal possession of
wildlife, with each agreeing to pay a $6,000 fine.
They also face an administrative hearing that will determine the
length of time they will be barred from hunting and fishing in Colorado
and 23 other states.