VERMONT AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES
For Immediate Release: October 23, 2008
Media Contacts: Col. Robert Rooks or Maj. David LeCours, 802-241-3700
Glover and Barnet, Vermont Deer Poaching Cases Result in Arrests
WATERBURY, VT - Deer poaching incidents October 11 in Glover and October 20 in Barnet have resulted in the arrests of 11 young individuals for taking deer by illegal means, or 'deer jacking.' Concerned citizens helped in both cases when they reported hearing shots at night.
On Saturday, October 11, shortly before midnight, landowners in Glover heard two gunshots. A prompt call to a State Police radio dispatcher resulted in a quick response from local game wardens. Senior Game Warden David Gregory and Game Warden Trainee Paul Brown traveled to the area to investigate the incident.
While patrolling the area, the wardens encountered two vehicles leaving the fishing access area at Daniels Pond. One of the cars sped away as the wardens arrived, while the second car, driven by 21 year old Thomas Claeys of Barton, stopped.
In the car with Claeys were three other men and a rifle. David 'Ben' Nelson, 18, of Orleans and 19 year old Keith Sylvester, Jr. of Derby Line were found with blood on their hands.
Claeys told the wardens that a deer was in the trunk. Along with a garbage bag of warm deer flesh, the wardens found a search light and a blood-caked knife. These items were seized, along with the rifle and a handgun.
Through further investigation, Michael Durocher, age 19 of Brownington, was identified as the owner and driver of the second car the game wardens had encountered leaving the Daniels Pond fishing access. A search of Durocher's vehicle uncovered additional evidence of his involvement in that night's poaching.
Accompanying Durocher had been 18 year old David Blair of Orleans who was located the following day. An additional juvenile passenger , like the rest of the individuals, was charged with taking a deer by illegal means.
The six individuals are scheduled to appear in Orleans Circuit Court on December 16, 2008 to answer to the charge of big game taken by illegal means, a misdemeanor offense. Additional penalties may include fines up to $500 but not less than $200 and could include imprisonment for not more than 60 days.
On October 20, at about 1:30 a.m. Senior Game Warden Dennis Amsden responded to a deer jacking complaint on Old Silo Road in Barnet.
An investigation revealed that a doe deer had been shot by Christopher Stevens and a juvenile male. A rifle and a shotgun were used in the taking of the deer, with the aid of a spotlight and the headlights of Jessica Carr's Nissan X-Terra SUV.
The following individuals were arrested in this case for taking deer by illegal means:
Jessica Carr, 19, of Lyndonville; Derek Dawson, 18, no known address; Christopher Stevens, 18, of Lyndonville; and Kristie Bergdoll, 18, of Lyndonville. A 17 year old juvenile male from Lyndonville was also arrested.
In both cases, if convicted, the defendants would lose the right to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont for three years with additional fines and restitution possible of up to $1,500 per individual. The vehicles and any implements used in the taking of the deer, including the firearms, also are subject to forfeiture
"State Game Wardens cannot do their job without public support," said Colonel Robert Rooks. "We ask the public to continue to report suspicious or illegal activity to help stop poaching by calling your nearest State Police office radio dispatcher, regardless of the time of day."
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