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DEC Police Ticket Dozens for Deer Poaching

November 29, 2011

From Dec.NY.gov

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) police officers recently concluded a blanket deer taking enforcement detail in the Capital Region and surrounding areas in conjunction with the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, DEC announced today.

Environmental Conservation Officers (ECO) worked in conjunction with their counterparts in neighboring states to set up saturation patrols to target illegal deer shooting with the use of an artificial light, a practice commonly known as deer jacking. Typically, deer jacking occurs in remote rural areas, throughout the night. During this operation, which took place in late October and the first three weeks of November, ECOs worked long hours and often confronted armed individuals.

"The vast majority of hunters pursue and take game legally," said DEC Law Enforcement Major Tim Duffy. "We work closely with the sporting community to stop individuals from illegally taking game to the detriment of wildlife populations and the legal efforts of honest hunters."

ECOs are out in full force this time of year patrolling, staking out, and observing the lands on which people take deer. They are in uniform and undercover; they are in vehicles and on foot; they are checking licenses and watching over deer decoys.

Below is a list of individuals ticketed by ECOs for violating New York's Environmental Conservation Laws in the Capital Region and surrounding areas.

Saratoga County

On October 20, an ECO staked out the Hans Creek Road in the town of Providence for poachers using lights to take deer. A vehicle turned on to the road and immediately a spotlight shined from the car sweeping the field along the road. The ECO observed a firearm pointing out from the car and heard a shot fired while a doe deer was illuminated by the spotlight. The vehicle continued down the road to the ECOs vehicle and was stopped. A second ECO arrived at the scene and the three occupants of the car were interviewed. All were issued summonses to appear in the town of Providence Justice Court as follows:

Craig Dufare, 18, of Middle Grove was charged with taking wildlife from a motor vehicle, possessing a loaded long gun in a motor vehicle, using of light while possessing an unsecured gun, illegally taking protected wildlife, discharging a firearm across a public highway, and shooting deer with rim fire ammunition. He faces up to $4,000 in fines and up to three years in jail.
Elizabeth Lewis, 18, of Middle Grove was charged with possessing a loaded long gun in a motor vehicle, taking big game without a license and using a light and while possessing an unsecured gun. She faces up to $2,250 in fines and up to two years in jail.
A 16-year old male in the vehicle was charged with taking big game without a license, taking deer with the aid of an artificial light, possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, attempting to take wildlife with aid of motor vehicle and discharging a firearm across a public highway. He faces maximum possible penalties of $4,000 in fines and up to three years and one month in jail.
On Nov 15, Christopher Columbe, 26, and Justin Carr, 26, both of Saratoga Springs were both charged with operating an artificial light on lands inhabited by deer while in possession of a firearm. Both men were served summons to appear in the town of Northumberland Justice Court. Columbe and Carr each face maximum penalties of $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

Albany County

On October 29, Mark Meringolo, 42, of Athens was charged with shooting deer over bait, a violation. He was issued a summons to appear in Rensselaerville Town Court. Meringolo faces a maximum of $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On November 5, John Facci, 40, of Schenectady was charged with shooting deer over bait, a violation. He was issued a summons to appear in Colonie Town Court and faces a maximum of $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On November 9, Drew McCardle, 50, of Delanson was charged with taking a doe deer without a permit, taking a deer with a firearm during bow season (both misdemeanors), and hunting without a license, a violation. He was issued summonses to appear Knox Town Court. McCardle faces a maximum of $4,250 in fines and up to two years in jail.

On November 15, Joshua Beck, 18, of Slingerlands was charged with using a spotlight within 500 feet of a dwelling, a violation. He was issued a summons to appear in Guilderland Town Court. Beck faces a maximum of $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On November 18, John Mister, 53, of Greenville was charged with illegal possession of wildlife and failure to tag deer, both violations. He was issued a summons to appear in Westerlo Town Court. Mister faces a maximum of $500 in fines and up to 30 days in jail.

On November 19, Stephen West, 28, of Mayfield (Fulton County) was charged with possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in Berne Town Court. West faces a maximum of $1000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 19, Mark Ginter, 37, of Gloversville was charged with possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in Berne Town Court. Ginter faces a maximum of $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 19, Charles Welsh, 40, of Rensselaerville was charged with possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in Berne Town Court. Welsh faces a maximum of $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 20, Kenneth Davey, 49, of Richmondville was charged with possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in Rensselaerville Town Court. Davey faces a maximum of $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 20, Mark McNally, 50, of Queens was charged with hunting with a rifle in a prohibited county, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in Rensselaerville Town Court. McNally faces a maximum of $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 20, Ando Carmello, 52, of Stanfordville (Dutchess County) was charged with hunting with a rifle in a prohibited county, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in Rensselaerville Town Court. Carmello faces a maximum of $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 20, Frank Scavetta, 52, of Queens was charged with hunting with a rifle in a prohibited county, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in Rensselaerville Town Court. Scavetta faces a maximum of $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 26, Fred Oliver, 69, of Delmar was charged with shooting deer over bait, a violation. He was issued a summons to appear in Bethlehem Town Court. Oliver faces a maximum of $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On November 27, Mario Pennacchia, 52, of Schenectady was charged with taking a doe deer without a permit (a misdemeanor), discharging a bow within 500 feet of a residence and shooting deer over bait, both violations. He was issued summonses to appear Knox Town Court. McCardle faces up to $2,500 in fines and up to one year in jail.

Schenectady County

On November 18, Michael Wheeler, 48, of Schenectady was charged with illegal possession of a doe deer and taking a deer with a firearm during bow season, both misdemeanors. He was issued summonses to appear in Princetown Town Court. Wheeler faces a maximum of $4,000 in fines and up to two years in jail.

Rensselaer County

On October 25, Jamie Sears, 40, of Pittsfield, MA was charged with shooting at game after hours and hunting without a back tag (both violations) and making a false statement while applying for a license, a misdemeanor. He was issued summonses to appear in the town of Petersburg Justice Court. He faces a maximum of $700 in fines and up to three months in jail.

On October 25, Nicholas Lentine, 30, of Pownal, VT was charged with failure to carry a big game license while hunting, a violation. Lentine was issued an appearance ticket returnable in Petersburg Justice Court and faces up to $250 in fines and/or 15 days in jail.

On October 26, Matthew Sadlowski, 21, of Johnsonville was charged with spotlighting with an unsecure bow in a motor vehicle, a violation. Sadlowski was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Pittstown Justice Court and faces up to $250 in fines and up to 125 days in jail.

On November 1, Kenneth Luskin, 43, of Pittstown was charged with failure to tag a deer, a violation. Luskin was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Pittstown Justice Court and faces up to $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On November 13, James W. Roberts, 44, of Mechanicville was charged with shooting over bait, a violation. Roberts was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Pittstown Justice Court and faces up to $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On November 5, Carlos I. Correa, 52, of Troy was charged with hunter trespass, a violation. Correa was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Pittstown Justice Court and faces up to $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On November 1, Steven Torres, 40, of Watervliet was charged with hunter trespass, a violation. Torres was issued an appearance ticket returnable to North Greenbush Justice Court and faces up to $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On November 6, Paul A. Jerominek, 47, of Troy was charged with the misdemeanor of unlawful take of a deer and the violation of hunting without a license. Resolution of the matter is pending in Brunswick Town Court where Jerominek faces up to $2,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 27, Brian Jones of Berlin, 22, and John MacMillen, 22, of Poestenkill were each charged with taking deer with the aid of an artificial light, possessing a loaded gun in a motor vehicle and taking wildlife from a motor vehicle, all misdemeanors. Additionally, Jones was charged with the misdemeanor of shooting two deer over bait and the violation of hunting without a big game license during the archery only season. Resolution of the charges are pending in Berlin Town Court where MacMillen faces a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 270 days in jail and Jones faces a fine of up to $9,000 and up to a year in jail.

On November 13, Tom Gill, 22, of Nassau was charged with shooting deer with a gun during archery season and with hunting without a license, both violations. Gill was issued appearance tickets returnable to Nassau Justice Court and faces a fine of up to $500 and up to 15 days in jail.

On November 11, Fred Beagle, 34, of Cambridge was charged with possessing a loaded gun in a motor vehicle (a misdemeanor) and a traffic infraction of an unregistered vehicle. Beagle was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Pittstown Justice Court and faces up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

Columbia County

On November 10, Todd Hall, 44, of Austerlitz and David Hall, 43, of Chatham were charged with possession of an unsecured firearm in a motor vehicle while spotlighting, a misdemeanor. Both were issued an appearance tickets returnable to Austerlitz Justice Court and face up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 24, Dominick Popp, 74, of Gallatin was issued appearance tickets for the illegal taking of deer and shooting over a bait pile. Popp appeared in Gallatin Town Court, apologized for his actions and paid a $750 fine.

Montgomery County

On November 10, Jeremy Harrington, 38, of Canajoharie was charged with taking a deer with a firearm during bow season (a misdemeanor) and trespassing on posted land, a violation. He was issued summonses to appear Palatine Town Court and faces up to $2,250 in fines and up to one year in jail.

On November 11, Joseph Moreau, 54, of Nelliston was charged with illegally taking a deer (a misdemeanor) and trespassing on posted land, a violation. He was issued summonses to appear Palatine Town Court and faces up to $2,250 in fines and up to one year in jail.

On November 23, Dylan Slater, 20, of Canajoharie was charged with illegal possession of a doe deer, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in Glen Town Court and faces up to $2,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.

On November 20, Timothy Ferguson, 42, of Broadalbin was charged with illegal possession of a doe deer, a misdemeanor. He was issued summonses to appear in Florida Town Court and faces up to $2,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.

On November 20, Nick Henderson, 23, of Schenectady was charged with illegal possession of wildlife and possessing the license and tags of another, both violations. He was issued a summons to appear in Florida Town Court and faces up to $500 in fines and up to 30 days in jail.

Warren County

On October 3, a New York State Trooper and an ECO charged Matthew Cleveland, 18, of Weavertown with taking deer with the aid of an artificial light, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, discharging a firearm across a public highway and taking a doe deer during the closed season - all misdemeanors. He was issued summonses to appear in the town of Johnsburg Justice Court. Cleveland faces up to $6,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.

Washington County

On September 13, three Ticonderoga men were charged with deer jacking in the town of Putnam. Jesse Mars, 24, Adam Mosier, 26, and Nicholas Vlamis, 26, were each charged with taking deer with the aid of an artificial light, taking deer during the closed season, using lights in a motor vehicle while in possession of a firearm, discharging a firearm from a public highway, and possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. All charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to $6,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. All three men were issued summonses to appear in the town of Putnam Justice Court.

On November 13, Robert D. Wilson, 37, of Hebron, Stephanie A. Defoe, 24, of Hudson Falls, and Mark Havens, 35, of Glens Falls were each charged with operating a spotlight on lands inhabited by deer while in possession of three long guns and a longbow, a misdemeanor. All three were issued summonses to appear in the town of Hebron Justice Court. Each face up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 17, Justin Phillips, 22, of Whitehall was charged with operating lights on lands inhabited by deer while in possession of a firearm, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear before the town of Whitehall Justice Court. Phillips faces up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 19, Tabor Joiner, 26, of Glens Falls and Christopher Paige, 36, of Hudson Falls were charged with operating a spotlight on lands inhabited by deer while in possession of a firearm, a misdemeanor. The two were also allegedly in possession of a loaded air rifle. Both were issued summonses to appear before the town of Kingsbury Justice Court. Joiner and Paige each face maximum possible penalties of $2,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 13, Joshua L. Phillips, 24, of Salem was charged with operating a spotlight on lands inhabited by deer while in possession of a crossbow, a misdemeanor. He was issued summonses to appear in the town of White Creek Justice Court. Phillips faces up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

Below is a list of individuals ticketed by ECOs for violating New York's Environmental Conservation Laws in the Adirondacks and the North Country.

Clinton County

On November 12, Matthew Heywood, 34, of Burrillville, RI and Timothy Heywood, 48, of Blackstone, MA, were both charged with using a spotlight with unsecured firearm, a misdemeanor. Both men were issued summonses to appear in the town of Black Brook Justice Court. The Heywoods each face up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

Essex County

On September 22, Rourk Nielsen, 18, of Ticonderoga was charged with taking a deer during the closed season, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear before the town of Ticonderoga Justice Court. Nielsen faces up to $2,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On September 29, James Flora, 21, of Plattsburgh was charged with discharging a bow across a public highway and taking deer from a public highway, both violations. He was issued summonses to appear in the town of Chesterfield Justice Court. Flora faces up to $500 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On October 13, Larry Cooney, 38, of Elizabethtown was charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling (a misdemeanor) and taking a pheasant by means not permitted, a violation. He was issued summonses to appear in the town of Westport Justice Court and faces up to $1,250 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On October 14, William Leclair, 55, of Port Douglas was charged with possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in the town of Chesterfield Justice Court and faces up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On October 22, Michael Clarke, 21, of Keeseville was charged with using lights on lands inhabited by deer while in possession of a long gun in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in the town of Chesterfield Justice Court and faces up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On October 22, Jason Ryan, 19, of Keeseville was charged with using lights on lands inhabited by deer while in possession of a long gun in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in the town of Chesterfield Justice Court and faces up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On October 23, Daniel Grey, 42, of Ticonderoga was charged with possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear before the town of Crown Point Justice Court and faces up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On November 11, Harold Bailey, 56, of Keeseville was charged with possessing a firearm while using an artificial light, a misdemeanor. He was issued a summons to appear in the town of Chesterfield Justice Court and faces up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

Franklin County

On October 14, Nicholas Francis, 21, and Travis Stacey, 21, both of Akwesasne were charged with illegal possession of a deer (a misdemeanor) and taking a doe deer without a permit, a violation. Each was issued summonses to appear before the town of Bombay Justice Court. Francis and Stacey each face up to $1,250 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On October 20, Westley Dermody, 53, of Keeseville was charged with shooting deer over bait, a violation. He was issued a summons to appear in the town of Franklin Justice Court and faces up to $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On October 21, Carl F. Shantie, 54, of North Bangor was charged with unlawful feeding of deer and shooting deer over bait, both violations. He was issued summonses to appear before the town of Brandon Justice Court and faces up to $500 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On October 21, Justin Racicot, 24, from Constable and Scott K. Messenger, 21, and Darrin J. Jeffery, 20, both of North Bangor were charged with using lights on lands inhabited by deer while in possession of a long gun in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. They were issued summonses to appear before the town of Moira Justice Court. Each man faces up to $1,000 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

On October 22, Kevin T. Jessey, 23, of Plattsburgh was charged with shooting deer over bait, a violation. He was issued a summons to appear before the town of Brighton Justice Court and faces up to $250 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

On October 27, Timothy W. Rock, 52, of Gabriels was charged with shooting deer over bait and shooting during closed hours, both violations. He was issued summonses to appear before the town of Brighton Justice Court and faces up to $500 in fines and up to 15 days in jail.

Hamilton County

On October 22, Joseph Meyer, 61, of Mechanicville (Saratoga County) was charged with feeding whitetail deer and shooting deer over bait, both violations. He was issued summonses to appear before the town of Indian Lake Justice Court. Meyer faces up to $500 in fines and up to 30 days in jail.

Responding to an ATV trespass complaint in the town of Indian Lake an ECO discovered deer and bear bait in the area. On October 22, after a month-long investigation, three men were charged with numerous violations of Environmental Conservation Law. Michael J. Weis, 48, of Babylon (Suffolk County) was charged with illegally feeding bear and deer, placing a salt lick on lands inhabited by deer and bear, ATV infractions (all violations), and illegally discharging sewage, a misdemeanor. Vincent Pizzello, 58, of West Islip (Suffolk County) was charged with illegally feeding deer, shooting deer over bait and failure to carry hunting license and carcass tags while hunting, all violations. George M. Saraiva, 42, of New City (Rockland County) was charged with illegally feeding deer and shooting deer over bait, both violations. The three men were issued summonses to appear before the town of Indian Lake Justice Court. Weis faces maximum penalties of $38,750 in fines and up to one year and 90 days in jail. Pizzello faces up to $750 in fines and up to 45 days in jail. Saraiva faces up to $500 in fines and up to 30 days in jail.

On September 17, the opening day of early bear season, David Willet Jr., 32, of Troy was charged with feeding bears, shooting bears over bait and killing a bear over bait. He pleaded guilty in town of Long Lake Justice Court to all three charges. Willet paid more than $800 in fines and the bear he killed was seized at the taxidermist and forfeited to the state.

Fulton County

On October 17, after investigating a complaint of illegal hunting and the illegal transfer of tags two Fulton County men were charged with a number of violations of Environmental Conservation Law. Charles Holland, 39, of Perth was charged with taking over the limit of whitetail deer, a misdemeanor with maximum possible penalties of $2,000 in fines and one year in jail. Larry Johnson Jr., 41, of Gloversville was charged with unlawful transfer of a tag to another, no consignment slip, and illegally possessing protected wildlife - all violations. He faces up to $750 in fines and up to 45 days in jail. Holland and Johnson were issued summonses to appear in the town of Perth Justice Court.

On October 22, the opening day of the Northern Zone deer season, ECOs observed a car stopped along a road in the town of Oppenheim where a decoy had been set up. A person exited the vehicle with a firearm and took a shot at a deer decoy set up in view of the road. ECOs stopped the vehicle and with the subsequent assistance of a New York State Trooper charged two men in the vehicle with a number of violations. James J. George Jr., 28, of Oppenheim was charged with possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, discharging a gun over a public highway and possession of marijuana. Both men were issued summonses to appear in the town of Oppenheim Justice Court. George faces up to $2,350 in fines and up to 90 days in jail.

If you have information regarding illegal hunting activities, please contact the DEC Turn in Poachers & Polluters (TIPP) line at 1-800-847-TIPP (7332).

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