AUGUSTA – The Maine Warden Service issued a total of 42 summonses Friday to seven men from western Maine for alleged hunting and theft violations that resulted from a more than yearlong investigation, according to a press release Friday from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
The Warden Service’s Wildlife Crimes Investigation Division initiated the special investigation early last year after it received numerous complaints from the public, hunters and law enforcement personnel about alleged poaching activities.
In January, wardens served four search warrants on five of the men’s residences. Oxford County Assistant District Attorney Joe O’Connor was consulted on evidence that was collected during the full investigation, and the men are expected to appear in court in April.
The summonses cite violations including night hunting, killing multiple deer, hunting turkey during closed season, possession of stolen fur, possession of stolen traps, and theft of traps.
“What these men did through their actions is insult the law-abiding hunters of this state who respect the regulations that are in place to manage Maine’s wildlife population,” Maine Warden Service Acting Col. Gregg Sanborn said Friday in a press release.
Kyle A. Morgan, 20, of South Paris was issued 21 summonses, all of which are Class D misdemeanors according to Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife laws. If he’s found guilty, the court could impose a sentence of at least three days in jail for the first offense and not less than 10 days for each succeeding offense. Morgan also could face fines of not less than $1,000 for each violation and automatically would lose his state hunting license if he’s found guilty.
The summonses issued Morgan for alleged activity between Oct. 11 and Nov. 25, 2007, are: six counts of night hunting; four counts of night hunting that resulted in the killing of deer; two counts of night hunting that resulted in the wounding of deer; two counts of hunting deer after having killed one; three counts of hunting turkey during closed season; one count of exceeding the limit in the killing of deer; one count of theft and the possession of stolen fur; one count of theft and the possession of stolen traps; and one count of theft of traps.
Others summoned as part of the investigation are:
. Thomas L. Walker, 55, of Bethel: two counts of possession of deer killed at night, two counts of hunting deer after having killed one, one count of possession of deer taken during closed season, and one count of exceeding the limit in the killing of deer. All are Class D misdemeanors. He also was issued summonses of one count of baiting deer, one count of theft and possession of stolen traps, and one count disturbing traps of another person. All are Class E misdemeanors, which could result in up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Walker is Morgan’s uncle.
. Jonathan Morgan, 48, of Norway: one count of possession of antlerless deer, a Class D misdemeanor; and one count of possession of an unregistered deer, a Class E misdemeanor. Jonathan Morgan is Kyle Morgan’s father.
. Matthew Cole, 24, of Bryant Pond: three counts of exceeding the limit in the killing of deer, a Class D misdemeanor; one count of night hunting, a Class D misdemeanor; and one count of possession of an unregistered deer, a Class E misdemeanor. Cole is Kyle Morgan’s cousin.
. James Campbell, 20, of Woodstock: one count of trapping without a license, one count of receiving stolen traps, and one count of baiting deer, all Class E misdemeanors. Campbell is Kyle Morgan’s cousin.
. Matthew Walker, 23, of Bethel: one count of possession of a deer killed at night, a Class D misdemeanor; and one count of false registration of a deer, a Class E misdemeanor.
. Raymond Walker, 64, of Norway: one count of false registration of a deer, a Class E misdemeanor.