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OH: Deer poachers draw fines

August 10, 2010

Deer poachers draw fines One also gets jail for infraction

To report a wildlife violation, call (800) POACHER, a county wildlife officer or submit information online at www.wildohio.com.

Two Republic men have been sentenced for illegally hunting a deer in October 2009. Total fines, court costs and restitution add up to nearly $7,800.

Tyler J. Nye, 22, and Derek M. Depinet, 20, pleaded no contest in Tiffin Municipal Court, according to information from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife.

Nye was charged with aiding another in jacklighting, failure to immediately attach a temporary tag, providing false information to a check station, using a falsified temporary deer tag, hunting before or after hours, hunting deer with an unlawful firearm, hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle and shooting from a roadway. He also was charged by the Seneca County Sheriff's Office with receiving stolen property for stealing signs from wildlife areas.

Depinet was charged with jacklighting, possession of an untagged deer, aiding another in hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle and aiding another in shooting from the roadway.

Judge Mark Repp ordered Nye to pay $1,656 in fines and court costs and sentenced him to 60 days in jail with 40 days suspended. His hunting rights were revoked for his lifetime and he was ordered to pay restitution of $4,625 for the deer.

Depinet was ordered to pay $1,513 in fines and court costs, was sentenced to 30 days in jail with 30 days suspended, and his hunting rights were revoked for two years.

The deer head, which scored 150 gross points, and a New England Firearms .22-250 rifle with scope were forfeited to the state.

Seneca County Wildlife Officer Matthew Leibengood said the incident occurred Oct. 26, 2009, in the Bettsville quarry area of Liberty Township.

"The deer was shot in the early morning hours that day and we ended up at the house the evening of the 26th," Leibengood said about the investigation. "We did some questioning and we found out it was shot at night. They used the truck's headlights to light the area and used the hood of the truck as a rest."

When he and other wildlife officers arrived at Nye's residence, Leibengood said they found wildlife area signs that belonged to the Division of Wildlife hanging on a wall.

"We seized those, along with the rifle and deer head," he said.

After that, he said it was a matter of "putting the pieces together" to make a case for the county prosecutor. Charges were filed in February and the court system took over.

"One of the important points is that a poacher got jail time here," Leibengood said. "That's something almost unheard of, but in more aggravated cases when a guy has priors, it happens."

Leibengood said the poachers were caught because of a phone call.

"It came down from a concerned citizen calling and we took the information and were able the bust open the case and make it happen," he said. "Without calls from citizens, a lot of things go unnoticed. Wildlife officers can't be in every corner of the county every hour of the day.".

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