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FL: turkey hunting lands Salt Springs man in jail

March 26, 2010

A passion for turkey hunting lands Salt Springs man in jail by Willie Howard A Salt Springs man, apparently an avid turkey hunter, spent the opening morning of Central Florida’s spring turkey season in jail.

According to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Keith Allen Kelly, 48, was charged with six felony counts related to illegally obtained quota hunt permits for last year’s turkey hunt.

“This is the largest and most in-depth case of its kind in Florida,” said FWC Officer Troy Starling.

Starling began investigating Kelly last year after receiving complaints that the hunter was manipulating the state’s spring quota hunt permit system.

The FWC obtained help from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s crime lab in extracting information from Kelly’s computer resulting in charges of identity theft for using other people’s names and personal information to apply for permits for spring turkey hunts.

With additional names applying for quota permits, Kelly was increasing his chances of receiving them.

“Not only did Mr. Kelly cheat the system, he stole personal information from law-abiding hunters he had guided on previous hunts,” said Capt. Gregg Eason, area supervisor for the FWC.

To report possible violations of fish, wildlife and boating laws, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at (888) 404-3922. Those providing tips may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.

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