Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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New York poaching investigation leads to felony counts

Mayfield, N.Y. — Two Fulton County men face felony weapons and drug charges following what began as an investigation into a deer-poaching case.

State police and environmental conservation officers charged Todd H. Harwood, 35, of Gloversville, and Steve D. Olsen, 34, of Gloversville, last month.

Harwood was initially charged by ECOs with five misdemeanor counts – three for illegally killing a deer and one each of possessing a pistol while muzzleloader hunting and exceeding the bag limit for deer.

He was also cited for three violations of hunting over bait, officials said.

When ECOs called for assistance from state police, Harwood was then charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon.

The state police investigation also led to felony charges against Olsen for criminal possession of marijuana, as well as misdemeanor counts of illegally growing marijuana and unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition clip (a violation of the NY SAFE Act).

The pair were arraigned in Mayfield town court and jailed in lieu of bail.
In other cases:

• a Suffolk County restaurant owner was charged in connection with the illegal sale of striped bass in his establishment.

DEC Capt. Timothy Huss said Frank Genovas had about 60 pounds of striped bass filets in his shop (Francesco’s Italian Restaurant) bass that he was illegally selling in his restaurant.

Acting on an anonymous tip, DEC began investigating the case and set up surveillance at the restaurant. ECOs observed a restaurant employee bringing a large striped bass into the restaurant, and later found three untagged striped bass in a cooler and 23 pounds of fillets in portion sizes located in a separate cooler. ECOs interviewed Genovas and employees regarding the origins of the fish and also noted the night’s special entrée was locally caught bass.

A total of 60 pounds of untagged striped bass worth more than $600 were seized by the ECOs and donated to Long Island Cares Charity.

Genovas, 53, was cited for misdemeanor counts of possessing untagged striped bass; taking striped bass without a commercial striped bass permit; failing to have a food fish license; and possessing striped bass fillets in a retail establishment without maintaining the associated fish carcass.

Each charge carries a penalty of up to $5,000 and/or up to one year in jail.

He is scheduled to appear in the 1st District Court in Islip on Dec. 11.

• a Chenango County man was charged after he allegedly trespassed onto private property and killed a deer illegally earlier this month.

Chenango County sheriff’s deputies said David Button Jr., 34, allegedly shot a buck, removed its head and left the carcass after trespassing onto private property in the town of Plymouth.

A trail camera reportedly captured an image of Button, who was later located at his home, along with the deer’s head and a rifle.

Button is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor, and DEC officers cited him for trespassing, hunting without a license, hunting deer with rimfire ammunition, taking deer by means not specified, and unlawfully killing protected wildlife.

• Christopher L. Dobbs, 34, of Altmar, was fined $650 for failure to carry a license while  hunting, discharging a firearm over a public highway, taking antlerless deer without a permit and failure to affix a tag to a turkey carcass. Dobbs was cited in connection with an Oct. 28, 2008 incident in the town of Williamstown (Oswego County).

• Jacob Andrew Cole, 21, of Lorraine, was fined $400 for discharging a firearm over a public highway and possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in connection with an April 20 incident in the town of Harrisburg (Lewis County).

• Charles L. Thomas Jr. of Winthrop was fined $1,000 for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public highway, taking deer with the aid of a motor vehicle and taking an antlerless deer during closed season. Thomas was cited in connection with a Nov. 25, 2011 incident in the town of Stockholm (St. Lawrence County).

• Sierra F. Kiessinger, 20, of Constantia, was fined $300 for hunting deer without a license, hunting deer during closed season and hunting deer with the aid of a motor vehicle in connection with an Oct. 1, 2012 incident in the town of West Monroe (Oswego County).

• Charles E. Baker, 44, of Syracuse, was fined $450 for snagging, unlawful possession of marijuana, and fishing with a leader in excess of four feet in connection with a Sept. 19, 2012 incident in the town of Richland (Oswego County).

• Andriy V. Henko, 36, of Solvay, was fined $300 plus a $125 court surcharge for failure to comply with a lawful order, using a hook with more than one point, and snagging. The citations stem from an Oct. 7, 2011 incident in the town of Albion (Oswego County).

• Ryan P. Mooney, 36, of Sackets Harbor, was fined $700 for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and taking antlerless deer without a permit in connection with a Nov. 28., 2010 incident in the town of Hounsfield (Jefferson County).

• Jeffrey P. Denslow, 26, of Boonville, was fined $5900 for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in connection with a Nov. 18, 2012 incident in the town of Sangerfield (Oneida County). 

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