Officer’s court case could be resolved soon
The attorney for Ohio Division of Wildlife Officer Allan Wright
has been in communication with a federal prosecutor in Washington,
D.C. “regarding a possible resolution” of federal Lacey Act
wildlife charges that were filed recently against Wright, the
former Brown County wildlife officer.
Attorney H. Louis Sirkin of Cincinnati said, “I can’t talk about
it publicly,” in reference to his request for a continuation of
Wright’s Oct. 31 trial in federal court in Cincinnati. In recent
court filings, Sirkin wrote he would like the opportunity to meet
in person with federal prosecutor James Nelson to “discuss
potential plea arrangements.” Sirkin wrote he “has been in
communication with Mr. Nelson office in Washington “regarding a
possible resolution of this matter short of trial.”
In addition, Sirkin’s filings indicate Wright agrees to waive
his rights to a speedy trial. Federal Judge Michael R. Barrett
granted Sirkin’s request to extend a deadline for filing pretrial
motions until Jan. 27, 2012. A hearing will be held Oct. 21on a
defense request to continue the trial date.
Wright, 45, of Russellville, Ohio, was named in a four-count
indictment in August, which accused him of trafficking in and
making false records for illegally harvested white-tailed deer.
The indictment alleges that Wright sold and provided an Ohio
resident hunting license to a South Carolina wildlife officer in
2006 and falsely entered an Ohio address for the out-of-state
hunter in order to obtain the resident license. Wright was accused
of personally checking three deer harvested by the South Carolina
hunter with the illegal license by providing a fraudulent Ohio
address. The hunter transported the deer to South Carolina.
The indictment also alleges that Wright used his authority as a
wildlife officer to seize white-tail deer antlers from a hunter
during the 2009 white-tail deer season and rather than dispose of
the antlers through court proceedings, transport the antlers to an
unnamed person in Michigan.
The DOW has placed Wright on unpaid administrative leave.
Wright’s case was investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife