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OR: 9 arraigned in poaching case

9 arraigned in poaching case The Springfield men and women enter not guilty pleas for offenses that include racketeering and identity theft

Five members of a Springfield family and four others from Springfield were arraigned Thursday in what may be the biggest ever Oregon State Police poaching case.

All entered not guilty pleas after being arraigned in Lane County Circuit Court on a 103-count poaching and racketeering indictment handed down by a Lane County grand jury April 18.

Racketeering is a pattern of criminal behavior in which participants collaborate to use the same methods to commit multiple crimes. It is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $375,000 fine.

The indictment accuses the nine of illegally transferring hunting licenses and tags to bag game using the names of people who do not hunt — including some whose personal identification was stolen and used to obtain fraudulent licenses and tags.

An investigation led by Springfield-based Trooper Marc Boyd allegedly revealed a five-year criminal conspiracy to illegally harvest nearly 300 deer on public and private land in the state’s McKenzie wildlife management unit. Elk, antelope and bear were also illegally killed in the scheme, according to a state police statement released Thursday.

Sgt. Ron Martin, who commands the agency’s Springfield area Fish and Wildlife Division, said the probe was the largest single poaching case ever investigated by state police.

Shane Edwin Donoho, 37, faces the most serious counts. He was indicted on six felonies — one count of racketeering and five counts of identity theft, also a felony and punishable by up to five years in prison and a $125,000 fine. He also was charged with 73 misdemeanors. They include one count each of second-degree forgery, unlawful hunting of a cow elk and unlawful possession of a game mammal; six counts of computer crime; five counts of unlawful taking of big game; and 50 counts of unlawful possession of big game parts. Wildlife offenses are class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and up to $6,250 in fines.

His father, Rory Edwin Donoho, 59, faces one count each of racketeering, unlawful taking of antlerless deer and unlawful loaning of big game tag; two counts of identity theft; three counts of unlawful borrowing of big game tag; and 50 counts of unlawful possession of big game parts.

The Donohos are co-owners of the Springfield-based janitorial firm Rory’s Building Maintenance, court records indicate. Neither responded Thursday to a request for comment.

Also charged in the indictment:

Gerald Stanton Donoho, 64, Rory Donoho’s brother and Shane Donoho’s uncle. He faces one count each of racketeering, unlawful hunting of a cow elk and unlawful possession of bear meat.

Laura A. Donoho, 36, Shane Donoho’s wife. She faces one count each of racketeering, unlawful loan or transfer of hunting tag, attempted unlawful loan of hunting tag and unlawful take of antlerless deer.

Sandra L. Shaffer, 59, Shane’s Donoho’s mother and Rory Donoho’s ex-wife. She faces one count each of racketeering, unlawful possession of antlerless deer, and attempted unlawful loan or transfer of hunting tag.

Danny M. Hawkins, 60 — one count of racketeering, and three counts of unlawful loan or transfer of hunting tags.

Miguel A. Kennedy, 26 — one count each of racketeering and unlawful loan or transfer of hunting tags, two counts of second-degree forgery and four counts of identity theft.

Mary S. Normand, 61 — one count of racketeering, and two counts of unlawful loan or transfer of hunting tag.

Shawn Stone, 48 — one count each of racketeering and unlawful taking of cow elk and two counts of unlawful borrowing of big game tag.

Attempted wildlife offenses are class B misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in jail and fines of up to $2,500.

The nine were arrested after a 15-month investigation by Fish and Wildlife Division troopers from the state police offices in Springfield, Albany, Bend, Oakridge, Florence and Roseburg.

Officers serving search warrants early this year at the homes of Shane and Rory Donoho and at a local meat packing plant seized 108 sets of antlers, 1,600 pounds of processed wild game meat, 1,200 pounds of frozen game meat and two whole cow elk. They also seized 18 hunting rifles, seven spotlights, keys to gates on timber company land, and hunting tags and licenses for three people other than the two men.

In a sworn statement to obtain the search warrants, Boyd said his office received citizen complaints for years about alleged nighttime and other illegal hunting by the Donohos. Officers never caught them at anything illegal until a woman called game officials to report receiving a letter from the agency about her reported taking of a large game animal, Boyd wrote. The woman reported that she was not and had never been a hunter.

That prompted a review of agency records, which showed that a license and deer tags purchased in her name were among a batch purchased for the Donohos and others named in the indictment.

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