Facebook bragging about poaching leads to charges against man
May 27, 2011
A convicted felon who posted images on Facebook about his poaching
exploits attracted the attention of the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission's Internet Crimes Unit and now faces seven
felony charges and six misdemeanor charges related to his illegal
The department's investigation into Facebook posts by Darin Lee
Waldo, 43, of Davenport, Fla., led it to believe that he and friends may
have been poaching game in Florida's Lake Marion Creek Wildlife
Management Area during closed season. Waldo is a convicted felon who
cannot legally possess firearms.
"Our investigators were able to gain Waldo's confidence over the
said Lt. George Wilson, supervisor of the Internet Crimes Unit.
Waldo not only exchanged images of illegally killed game with FWC
investigators via the Internet, but also took part in chat room
conversations about his alleged actions and allegedly invited undercover
agents to participate in two illegal hunts, eventually leading to his
arrest Saturday by Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies.
"Waldo was also trespassing and poaching on private ranches before
hunting season, stealing Florida's wildlife from landowners who were
maintaining conservation programs," Wilson said.
Waldo's third-degree felony charges, each punishable by up to a
$5,000 fine and/or five years in prison, include four counts of
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and three counts of armed
trespass. He also faces six second-degree misdemeanor charges, each
punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or 60 days in jail.
In the first year since the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
created its Internet Crimes Unit, investigators initiated 168
investigations that have resulted in 177 arrests and 92 warnings.
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