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Case File  #1   March 2005

A Case of Domestic Abuse and Poaching

On March 31, 2005, Warden Shon Theriault received information from Maine Operation Game Thief (Maine OGT) that a female informant had some wildlife violations to report on her husband who had just assaulted her and wanted a call back from a game warden. Wdn. Theriault called the informant and , after speaking with her, was able to secure a search warrant for the informant's residence.

The search warrant was served and during the investigation, it was determined that the informant's husband, his sons and a couple of his son's friends had illegally killed a moose during the 2004 deer hunting season. The moose antlers were seized from the garage with a small bullet hole in the right palm exactly as the informant had described. Moose meat was recovered from the garage. Blood, still on the ATV used to transport the moose out of the woods, was sampled and sent to the lab where it was confirmed as moose blood. The moose kill site was found, and DNA evidence proved it to be the same moose as meat recovered at the poacher's home. The individuals were charged with illegal possession of moose.

The wife also informed that her husband would kill deer from a special upstairs bedroom window designed for such activities so that the husband could silently kill deer feeding in a bait pile in the backyard (see picture). The wife reported that the husband tried to kill a large buck on December 8, 2004 between midnight and 3:00AM but wounded the animal with a .30 caliber rifle. The next night he killed the same large buck with a bow and arrow and the deer showed a wound from the gunshot the previous evening. A spent .30 caliber rifle casing was found on the floor below the special window. The husband was charged with night hunting.

The charges?
Hunting/Possessing Moose and Deer in Closed Season (2 counts); Night hunting (2 counts); Illegal transportation of Moose and Deer (2 counts); Hunting from Stand Overlooking Bait (2 counts); Disturbing traps of another; False registration of deer, Unsworn Falsification; Hindering Apprehension.

The penalties?
Twenty days in jail, $2,500 in fines, loss of hunting privileges and forfeiture of a $4,500 ATV.

The moral of the story? Don't be poaching and assaulting your spouse! Operation Game Thief and the excellent investigative skills of our Maine wardens are no match!

Case Photos (if available)

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