‘Largest Single’ Poaching Case In OSP History

UPDATED FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011: It’s being called the “largest single” poaching case that the Oregon State Police have ever investigated, and the alleged wildlife death toll and court charges against nine Springfield residents back that up.

Some are felonies that, if proven, could lead to sentences of up to 20 years in jail and $375,000 fines apiece.

Even more stunning, the image that OSP Fish & Wildlife Division included in the press release. It shows dozens upon dozens upon dozens of deer racks seized during search warrants served in January.

ACCORDING TO THE OREGON STATE POLICE, THE SUSPECTS MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR POACHING 300 DEER IN THE McKENZIE UNIT IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS. WARDENS SEIZED OVER 100 RACKS AND 18 RIFLES DURING SEARCHES OF THREE RESIDENCES. (OSP)

The allegations, if true, are mind boggling.

Three hundred deer poached over five years — just from one unit.

Sixteen hundred pounds of meat seized.

Identity theft.

Racketeering.

A criminal conspiracy.

Even more charges possible.

“This is the largest single case the State Police has investigated regarding poaching,” OSP Sgt. Ron Martin told a local news station.

In the end, who knows how many game animals have allegedly been stolen from hunters and the public by a very greedy few.

The true wolves, exposed.

Just sickening, absolutely sickening.

“Makes me want to cry,” says one Junction City hunter. “Really really does! I have seen so many nice bucks in the McKenzie. I go to bed at night thinking of how big they are and knowing a guy might have a chance at one of them someday.  Then something like this — how disheartening, wrong, unethical. Sickening.”

Though wildlife officials have heard complaints about some of those facing charges for years, the Register-Guard reports, the conspiracy only began to unravel when a woman received a tooth envelope in the mail from ODFW for a deer she did not kill.

The nine entered not guilty pleas yesterday.

Here are a selection of news accounts on the case:

9 arraigned in poaching case
‘Largest single case State Police has investigated regarding poaching’
State police wrap up months-long investigation into wildlife ‘criminal conspiracy’
9 plead not guilty in Springfield poaching case

Here’s OSP’s press release:

Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division troopers from the Springfield, Albany, Bend, Oakridge, Florence and Roseburg offices completed a 15-month investigation into unlawful hunting activities that led this month to the indictment of nine people by a Lane County Grand Jury.  The 9 Springfield-area residents were arraigned Thursday, April 28, on numerous criminal charges including wildlife crimes, ID theft, computer crimes and racketeering in Lane County Circuit Court.

The investigation led by Trooper Marc Boyd of the OSP Springfield Area Command office alleges a long criminal conspiracy involving the illegal harvest of approximately 300 deer in the McKenzie wildlife management unit over the last five years.  Search warrants served at three separate locations during January 2011 in both Springfield and Eugene led to the seizure of 18 hunting rifles, 108 sets of antlers, timber company keys, numerous hunting licenses and tags, approximately 1600 pounds of processed wild game meat, and two whole unlawfully taken cow elk.

The nine suspects identified below were arraigned on the following criminal charges:

* SHANE E. DONOHO, age 37, from Springfield
– Identity Theft (5 counts)
– Unlawful Take of Big Game (5 counts)
– Unlawful Possession of Game Mammal
– Unlawful Possession of Big Game Parts (50 counts)
– Forgery in the Second Degree
– Computer Crime (6 counts)
– Unlawful Hunting Cow Elk
– Racketeering

* RORY E. DONOHO, age 60, from Springfield
– Unlawful Loaning of Big Game Tag
– Unlawful Borrowing of Hunting Tag (3 counts)
– Identity Theft (2 counts)
– Unlawful Take Antlerless Deer
– Unlawful Possession of Big Game Parts (50 counts)
– Racketeering

* GERALD S. DONOHO, age 64, from Springfield
– Unlawful Hunting Cow Elk
– Unlawful Possession of Bear Meat
– Racketeering

* LAURA A. DONOHO, age 36, from Springfield
– Unlawful Loaning or Transfer of Hunting Tag
– Attempted Unlawful Loaning of Hunting Tag
– Unlawful Take of Antlerless Deer
– Racketeering

* SANDRA L. SHAFFER, age 59, from Springfield
– Unlawful Possession of Antlerless Deer
– Attempted Unlawful Loaning or Transfer of Hunting Tag
– Racketeering

* DANNY M. HAWKINS, age 60, from Springfield
– Unlawful Loaning or Transfer of Hunting Tag (3 counts)
– Racketeering

* MIGUEL A. KENNEDY, age 26, from Springfield
– Identity Theft (4 counts)
– Forgery in the Second Degree (2 counts)
– Unlawful Loaning or Transfer of Hunting Tag
– Racketeering

* MARY S. NORMAND, age 61, from Springfield
– Unlawful Loaning or Transfer of Hunting Tag (2 counts)
– Racketeering

* SHAWN STONE, age 48, from Springfield
– Unlawful Borrowing of Big Game Tag (2 counts)
– Unlawful Take of Cow Elk
– Racketeering

Additional charges may be still be pending in both Lane and Harney counties.

The offenses allegedly occurred during 2009 and 2010 in Lane County on both Bureau of Land Management and private timber lands.  The wildlife unlawfully taken and/or possessed were Elk, Antelope, and Bear, and primarily Black tail deer.  Many of the deer were taken to fill tags for people who either do not hunt or who had their identification stolen for the purpose of illegally obtaining hunting licenses and tags in their name.

A break in the case came when one of the victims of identification theft received an ODFW big game tooth envelope in the U.S. mail and contacted the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to advise them of their mistake.  The initial investigation indicated hunting licenses and tags were bought in the reporting person’s name without their consent or knowledge.

OSP Fish & Wildlife Division troopers served search warrants with the assistance of BLM law enforcement, Lane County parole and probation, the Lane County District Attorney’s Office and OSP patrol troopers. Forest deputies with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the recovery of the two cow elk unlawfully taken the same day a search warrant was served.

The above mentioned crimes are punishable by the following:

– All wildlife offenses are a class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail and $6250.00 in fines for each count.
– Racketeering is a class A felony punishable by up to twenty years in jail and $375,000.00 in fines for each count.
– Identification Theft is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in jail and $125,000.00 in fines for each count.
– Forgery in the Second Degree is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $6250.00 in fines for each count.
– Computer Crime in this case is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $6250.00 in fines.
– “Attempted” wildlife offenses are B misdemeanors punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $2500.00 in fines for each count.
– Restitution may be pursued for the unlawfully taken/possessed game mammals and other actions as provided by law. Each antelope, deer and bear have a value of $800.00, each elk $1500.00.  Enhanced restitution amounts for deer with at least four points on one antler is $7500.00 and each elk with at least 6 points on one antler is $15,000.00.

Cases involving illegal conduct such as this should be reported to the Turn-In-Poachers (TIP) line (800-452-7888) for the protection and future enjoyment of our natural resources.

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2 Responses to “‘Largest Single’ Poaching Case In OSP History”

  1. james a nelson Says:

    Good job by teh game dept and you also andy

  2. Andy Walgamott Says:

    OSP’s Marc Boyd and the rest of the wardens with the Oregon State Police deserve all the credit on this one.

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