NY: Cuffs and Collars Issue: 2

Northern District

Baiting Search Warrant

(Saratoga County)

On Oct. 24, 2010, DEC Environmental Conservation Police executed a
search warrant on Horse Hill Road in the Town of Edinburg, Saratoga
County, for activities related to the baiting and illegal taking of
big game. Based on observations, physical evidence and information
obtained at the location, four men were charged with a total of
seven misdemeanors and nine violations of Environmental
Conservation Law. One individual was charged with possession of a
loaded firearm on a motorized vehicle, unlawful burning of
regulated materials, both misdemeanors, and feeding white-tailed
deer, a violation. He faces possible total maximum penalties for
all charges of $8,750 in fines and up to 180 days of imprisonment.
Another individual was charged with three misdemeanors: taking a
buck deer with a rifle during muzzleloader season, possession of a
loaded firearm on a motor vehicle and illegally taking a deer. He
was also charged with three violations: hunting deer with the aid
of pre-established bait pile, possession of improperly tagged deer,
and taking big game after hours. He faces possible maximum
penalties for all charges of $5,750 in fines and up to two years
and 105 days of imprisonment. A third suspect was charged with
illegally taking a deer, a misdemeanor, and possession of
improperly tagged deer, a violation. He faces maximum penalties for
both charges of $2,250 in fines and up to one year and 15 days of
imprisonment. A fourth suspect was charged with illegally taking a
deer, a misdemeanor, and two violations: possession of improperly
tagged deer and hunting deer with the aid of pre-established bait
pile. He faces maximum fines for all charges of $2,500 and up to
one year and 15 days of imprisonment. All charges are answerable in
Town of Edinburgh Court.

Hunters Shot at by Irate Landowner (Essex County)

On Oct. 17, 2010, two individuals were hunting deer during the
muzzleloading season on private and state land in the Town of
Minerva. The hunters were conducting a deer drive and one of the
hunters had allegedly crossed onto unposted, private property as he
was conducting the drive. The property owner yelled to the hunter
to get off his property. In an effort to comply, the hunter then
turned and started heading directly away from the private property.
The property owner then fired two rounds from a .38 caliber
revolver into the trees over the hunter. The second hunter was
sitting on a ridge in the vicinity of where the property owner
fired. In response to the hunters’ complaint regarding the
landowner’s conduct, Region 5 ECO Matt LaCroix and New York State
Police Trooper Matthew Carniglia went to the property owner’s
residence to interview him. As the officers were interviewing his
wife, the property owner came out of the woods from deer hunting.
He had been hunting with a .357 magnum rifle for deer during the
muzzleloading season. The property owner admitted to firing his
revolver in the direction of the hunter but stated he was unaware
that another hunter was sitting in the woods at that location. He
was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, a class D
felony; second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C
Felony; second-degree menacing, a class A misdemeanor; and
possessing a firearm when hunting deer during muzzleloading season,
an unclassified misdemeanor. He was arraigned that evening in the
Town of Chester Court and released on $1,000 bail.

Inaugural Youth Waterfowl Hunt (Jefferson County)

Members of the Region 6 Division of Law Enforcement organized a
youth waterfowl hunt and took nine youths hunting. The hunt was
hosted by the Watertown Sportsman’s Club. The ECOs involved were
Steve Bartoszewski, Mark Malone and Eric Roderick. The two-day
event included an instructional day and a day of hunting. For the
instructional day, the ECOs covered the rules and regulations
pertaining to waterfowl hunting, use of calls and decoys, basic
marksmanship skills on the range, as well as some trapshooting to
get the young hunters acquainted with flying targets. There was
also a waterfowl identification portion of the day instructed by
Region 7 ECO Mark Colesante. For the hunt day, the youth hunters
were split up into groups of three and taken out into the field. A
few ducks were harvested and a few more were missed. Following the
hunt everyone met at the Watertown Sportsman’s Club for some food
and refreshments. Everyone involved had a good time and were very
happy to have participated.

$275,000 Worth of Marijuana

Seized at Camp

(Allegany County)

On Sept. 23, 2010, Region 9 ECOs Nathan VerHague, RJ Ward, Jr.,
Mark Wojtkowiak and Lt. Donald Pleakis assisted New York State
Police with marijuana eradication in Allegany County. One of the
last locations flown by aviation yielded 145 plants that were 6-9
feet tall. The plants were located in a wooded area behind an
unattended cabin. The ECOs utilized their issued ATVs to remove the
plants from the wooded lot and a Division of Law Enforcement pickup
truck to transfer the plants to New York State Police evidence
storage in Olean. ECO Wojtkowiak and Lt. Pleakis also assisted with
the search warrant of the premises later that afternoon, where
additional marijuana was located inside the cabin. The plants had
an estimated value of $275,000.

Southern District Office

Blood Clams

(New York/ Queens County) Part 1

On Sept. 4, 2010, Marine Enforcement Unit ECOs Jamie Powers and
George Scheer found what appeared to be raw blood clams in a
Manhattan Chinatown store. These clams are known to be illegally
imported raw from China and can pose a health risk to humans. The
officers diligently collected paperwork and other evidence to find
out the source of the imports. A few days later, ECOs Powers and
Kevin Thomas found more blood clams around the same area and
collected more paperwork. With all this information gathered, the
three ECOs found the original wholesaler located in northern
Queens. The officers visited the site with a DEC shellfish
inspector and conducted a thorough investigation. The business was
found to have another 18 boxes of blood clams stored in their
freezer and cooler. The owner said the boxes came from a company
that gets them out of JFK airport. However, upon further
investigation, the owner was found to be actually making the trips
down to the airport because he was unable to get an importer’s
permit due to previous violations. All clams were seized and
further investigations are still being conducted.

Blood Clams

(New York City) Part 2

On Sept. 28, 2010 Marine Enforcement Unit ECO Jamie Powers returned
back to a business to dispose of the seized blood clams. When he
arrived, he noticed four totes filled with tautog (blackfish),
three of which contained undersized fish. Powers then called in
ECOs Neil Stevens and Matt Baker for assistance. Upon completion of
a thorough inspection, the officers found a total of 92 undersized
tautog (109.9 pounds) that measured between 10-13.5 inches. The
legal size for tautog is 14 inches. They also found 17 undersized
lobsters. All of the lobsters and tautog were taken and donated to
the Open Door Church, located on Green Avenue in Brooklyn. On Oct.
4, 2010 ECOs, Jamie Powers and George Scheer drove to a business
where they met up with DEC shellfish inspector William Athawes.
Athawes had found another 220 pounds of blood clams at the same
business earlier in the week. Powers and Scheer then seized the
product in place and documented all of the evidence. Athawes then
took a small sample back to the lab for testing. This case is still
ongoing.

(You can Turn In Polluters and Poachers by reporting environmental
crimes to your local Environmental Conservation Police officer by
calling their 24-hour dispatch number at 1-800-TIPP DEC
(1-800-847-7332).)

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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