4 Michigan men charged in undercover wildlife investigation
February 28, 2012
Four men from Michigan are facing charges after
a 12-month undercover investigation by the Michigan Department of
In a release Tuesday, the Michigan DNR
said three men from Prescott, 64-year-old Jerome Thorson and his
sons, Ole Thorson, 35, and Travis Thorson, 40, had been charged with
illegally taking wildlife. A fourth man, Todd Osier, 41, of
Standish, is charged with a single count of cruelty to animals.
In addition to the Michigan charges, the defendants face separate
charges in Colorado. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife jointly
participated in the investigation.
Jerome Thorson faces 23
separate counts on charges that include importation of illegally
taken game from another state; capturing whitetail deer from the
wild; building and maintaining an illegal deer enclosure without a
permit; illegal taking of otter, bobcat and mink; illegal trapping;
possession of an illegal silencer; and animal cruelty to horses. Ole
Thorson has been charged with importing elk illegally taken in
another state and possession of an illegally taken pine marten.
Travis Thorson faces one count of cruelty to animals.
Michigan wildlife charge is a misdemeanor with a possibility of 90
days in jail. Fines and restitution range from $100 to $1,000 on
Several of the charges require mandatory hunting license
revocation upon conviction. The illegal possession of a
silencer is a felony with the possibility of five years in prison
and a fine of up to $2,500. The felony animal cruelty charges
have fines up to $5,000 and the possibility of four years in prison.
In Colorado, the Thorsons, Osier and three accomplices face a
total of 48 charges stemming from the illegal killing and possession
of several trophy-class elk, black bear and bobcat over several
years in the King Mountain area of Routt County. In addition
to the misdemeanor violations, Ole Thorson is charged with felony
willful destruction of wildlife and forgery. Travis Thorson
has already been arraigned in Colorado on multiple felony menacing
charges related to his 2011 hunt.
Colorado law allows for
enhanced fines and jail time in instances where either trophy big
game animals or multiple big game animals are taken. If
convicted, Ole Thorson faces more than a year in prison, more than
$90,000 in fines and a lifetime suspension of his hunting and
fishing privileges in Michigan, Colorado and 35 other states that
participate in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. Each of the
other defendants faces in excess of $10,000 in fines and lengthy
suspensions of their hunting and fishing privileges.
hunting public in Michigan is reminded to report any illegal hunting
and fishing activities to the 24-hour Report All Poaching (RAP)
Hotline at 1-800-292-7800.
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