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MT: Couple and 15 friends and relatives charged with poaching

December 19, 2013

From MTStandard.com

A Dillon couple and 15 of their friends and relatives have been charged with poaching crimes after a sweeping investigation revealed they illegally harvested dozens of animals over the past decade.
 
Authorities say Charles “Bill” Foster and his wife, Sally, poached more than
20 deer and elk over the course of four hunting seasons and possessed more than 65 game fish over the limit.
 
Bill Foster is charged with six counts of felony possession of game animals, one count of felony tampering with evidence, three counts of misdemeanor unlawful possession of game animals, and one count of misdemeanor unlawful possession of game fish.
 
Sally Foster is charged with six counts of felony possession of game animals, three counts of misdemeanor unlawful possession of game animals, one count of misdemeanor unlawful possession of game fish, and one count of misdemeanor fishing without a license.
 
The couple could face jail time, fines and a loss of hunting privileges.
Kropp said Montana is one of the few states that will send people to prison for poaching, and that the state takes poaching seriously.
 
An affidavit filed in the Dillon district court showed that Bill Foster bragged to undercover agents about some of the poaching, telling one agent “this’ll get a guy in trouble” while showing a photo of approximately 15 rainbow trout on a counter top. Later in the document, he bragged about illegally killing a spike bull elk.
 
Bill Foster is also charged with one count of felony tampering with evidence, stemming from an incident Nov. 24, 2012, when investigators were searching the Foster residence in Dillon. Officials say he removed a memory card that contained hunting photos from a camera. After being asked by investigators to furnish the card, he told the wardens he had flushed the memory card down the toilet because it contained nude pictures of a female neighbor. He later admitted he actually hid the memory card in a roll of toilet paper.

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