Pennsylvania Cuffs & Collars – April 25th, 2014

NORTHWEST REGION

From the Game Commission
• Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that during a recent night patrol a woman was arrested for an alcohol-related DUI and other related offenses. After field sobriety testing and a preliminary testing of her blood, it was determined that her BAC was more than four times the legal limit. This was her fifth DUI in the past three years.
• Clarion County WCO Jesse N. Bish reports that a Clarion County resident was awarded reward money by the judge for an incident in the 2013 rifle deer season. A protected deer was shot and killed while standing in a substantial amount of shelled corn in front of a ground blind. The defendants came back to the scene of the crime and were apprehended. Over $3,000 was assessed by the judge in penalties and restitution.
• Clarion County WCO Steven J. Ace reports an adjudicated case regarding a pair of individuals who were caught shooting at a deer using a spotlight during the open firearms season. Total costs and fines were just over $2,000 each.
• Crawford County WCO Mark A. Allegro reports that following a lengthy investigation, he recently obtained a confession from a man regarding the unlawful possession of a deer killed in November during archery season.
• Jefferson County WCO Roger A. Hartless reports that one sure sign of spring is all of the trash on game lands and along back roads that is visible now that the snow has melted. One dump site on SGL 244 got cleaned up recently by an individual who admitted to dumping the trash. A person’s name stamped on the bottom of a wooden shop class project, which had been made in 2002, led officers to a residence in Reynoldsville where the individual who dumped the trash resided.
• Lawrence County WCO Byron D. Gibbs reports charges have been filed against a local man who illegally possessed a wood duck after admitting to having taken it without purchasing the proper hunting license or required Federal Duck Stamp.
• Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin reports that an investigation is ongoing into reports of deer being shot at night in several areas between Sandy Lake and Mercer. Local residents have corroborated the initial information received from a confidential informant. There were multiple deer shot and left to lay by these “jacklighters.” PGC officers from both districts have conducted interviews and are actively pursuing leads. Anyone with specific knowledge or any related information is asked to call the game Commission’s Northwest Regional Office in Franklin.
• Mercer County WCO Donald G. Chaybin stated that the investigation is continuing in a late-winter deer poaching spree. Incidents were reported from Sandy Lake south to Mercer. Forensic evidence is being collected that may be critical in prosecuting those involved. Persons with information to provide may choose to remain anonymous. Contact the Northwest Regional Office at 814-432-3187 or the PGC TIP Hotline at 1-888-PGC-8001.
• Mercer County WCO Lawrence R. Hergenroeder reports a black bear weighing nearly 350 pounds was trapped and relocated on Feb. 28. This same bear was captured in March 2012 when he weighed 173 pounds.
• Venango County WCO Ronda J. Bimber reports that since the snow is starting to melt landowners are calling to report deer carcasses that have been dumped on their property. Citations will be filed for illegally disposing of the carcasses.
• Warren County WCO Dustin M. Stoner reports a James Creek man was found guilty at the Warren County Court of Common Pleas for the unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife and violation of safety zones. He was convicted for pursing and shooting at a porcupine within 90 yards of an occupied residence. The affected landowner was extremely upset by the man’s recklessness that day. Fines were assessed by the court at $500 plus court costs. In addition, he faces the possibility of the loss of his hunting and trapping privileges.
• Warren County WCO Jason R. Amory reports that multiple Tidioute residents have received citations for littering on lands open to public hunting.
• Clarion/Jefferson County LMGS George J. Miller reports that he recently helped WCO Roger A. Hartless investigate a littering violation where a man picked up a bag from a roadway thinking that he’d find something worth keeping inside. However, when his wife opened the bag in the passenger compartment, she found parts from a butchered pig inside. The man quickly pulled his vehicle to the side of the road where his wife tossed the contents out the door. It just so happened it was at the same time WCO Hartless was driving by.
From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Crawford County Officers Matt Visosky, Chad Doyle and Terry Crecraft worked late night enforcement details during the Pymatuning Reservoir walleye run first week of April. They issued 14 citations including: two snagging, two creel limits, two nursery waters, closed season, unauthorized device (four pronged gig). One defendant was armed with a handgun and rifle. He had just caught his limit of six walleyes at the spillway and stopped to spear more at the nursery waters on his way home. Officers stopped him once he speared two walleyes or the $850 fine could have been higher.
• Lawrence County Officers Jeff Giardina and Jon Kay have investigated seven environmental pollutions so far this year in Lawrence County attributed to Marcellus gas line installations. Most involve inadvertent returns of bentonite drilling clay.  All the sites have been properly restored.  Settlements are pending for the violations.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

From the Game Commission
• Elk County WCO Susan Edmiston reports that the feeding of elk is a continuing problem, especially since it is the time of year when people are seeking shed antlers. Warnings and citations have been issued recently. 
• McKean County WCO Thomas M. Sabolcik reports that this past trapping season was busy in McKean County and after several hearings and guilty pleas, most of the cases have been cleared. Violations ranged from utilizing bait visible from the air to improperly tagged traps and failure to check traps within the required 36-hour period.
• McKean County WCO Thomas M. Sabolcik reports that a rather large party of mostly teenagers was broken up by the Foster Township Police Department in Lafferty Hollow on property owned by Seneca Resources. The aftermath of the party left the area a mess, the revelers burned numerous pallets and left debris scattered over a log landing. The Foster Township Police supervised some of the teens in the cleanup of the area and the picking up of numerous nails that would have been left on the ground. Parents were notified of their children’s actions and appropriate actions were taken against the leaders. This whole saga was posted on Facebook.
• In advance of warmer weather McKean County WCO Tom Sabolcik has been scouting areas that have historically been trouble areas for unlawful ATV activity. In walking these areas, Sabolcik noted where trees had been cut and where littering was very apparent. Increased patrols are being planned.
• Potter County WCO Bill Ragosta reports having settled on a plea agreement with three individuals from Belarus who killed multiple deer during the closed season. Each of the defendants pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor charges, paid fines and costs of over $4,000 each, and each will lose his hunting privileges for a very long time.
• Clearfield County WCO Mark Gritzer reports with assistance from the Lawrence Township Police Department, an arrest warrant was served on Henry Martell III at a Glenn Richey bar. Martell had a total of 30 active warrants which included seven game law violations resulting from a deer-poaching investigation from March 2013. Martell pleaded guilty to his game law violations and was assessed a total of $6,386.50. Martell is incarcerated at the Clearfield County Jail for 160 days because he preferred the jail time compensation alternative instead of paying the fines, restitution and replacement fees associated with the case.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

From the Fish & Boat Commission
• While providing coverage to the vacant Franklin County district, Huntingdon County Waterways Conservation Officer Anthony Quarracino responded to a request for assistance by the Mercersburg Police Department.  During the course of a “check on the welfare” call, officers with the Mercersburg police discovered a large quantity of recently packaged fish in the residential freezer.  A subsequent investigation resulted in summary charges of possession of trout during the closed season and fishing without licenses being levied against two individuals for the unlawful taking of 24 trout ranging from 9 to 20 inches in length.
• In mid-March, Bedford County Waterways Conservation Officer Ted Kane investigated two independent pollution incidents on Yellow Creek. Both occurrences involved the unlawful discharge of manure effluent from agricultural activities, and resulted in fish kills. Settlement proposals to the responsible parties addressing restitution for aquatic damages and response expenses are forthcoming.
• Waterways Conservation officers from throughout the Southcentral Region conducted a covert saturation patrol in concert with an inseason trout stocking in Cumberland County. Despite formidable weather conditions, five individuals were apprehended for exceeding the daily limit of trout. Several of the culprits apprehended have chronic histories as repeat offenders for committing the same offenses.
• York County Waterways Conservation Officer Darrin Kephart is jointly investigating the disappearance of two individuals on the lower Susquehanna River. Both parties were last seen departing in a boat from a York County access, and failed to return. Their unattended vessel was located and recovered from the Susquehanna River days after their reported disappearance. Both individuals are still unaccounted for.
• Lebanon County Waterways Conservation Officer Doug Deppen and Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer Stanley Zivanovich were dispatched to a boating accident on the Susquehanna River.  An 18-foot open motorboat containing five passengers became mechanically disabled and was swept over the York Haven Dam. Emergency Services personnel with the River Rescue Units of Londonderry Township, Marietta and Columbia recovered all five victims from the river, several of which had been swept over 3 miles downstream from the accident site. Four were treated at local hospitals for severe hypothermia. The lives of all five of the vessel occupants were saved by their use of personal flotation devices (life jackets).

NORTHEAST REGION

From the Game Commission
• Bradford County WCO Philip Kasper reports that a Towanda man recently pleaded guilty to hunting small game without wearing the required amount of fluorescent orange material. The incident occurred last October during the overlap between small-game hunting and the opening day of the black bear season.
• Columbia County WCO Rick Deiterich reports that a Danville-area man was found guilty of multiple charges filed by the Game Commission and the state Department of Agriculture for allowing his pen-raised deer to escape and run loose in the woods, not following the CWD quarantine order and failure to report the escapes. The deer were spotted by local police on New Year’s Eve and were eventually euthanized by Game Commission personnel. The deer were then tested for CWD and the owner was cited. The man was found guilty on all charges and ordered to pay $800 in fines and costs.
• Columbia County WCO Rick Deiterich reports a Sunbury-area man pleaded guilty to one count of driving on fields not open to vehicles. The defendant went goose hunting on PPL Washingtonville property and drove his vehicle across the fields to set up his decoy spread.
• Wayne County WCO Frank Dooley reports two men who turned in a mistake kill deer paid $1,200 in fines and face loss of privileges, after Dooley asked them to show him the location where they killed the deer. Arriving at the kill site, Dooley discovered a large quantity of corn and deer feed, along with the entrails from the deer killed illegally in a baited area.
• Monroe County WCO Ryan Gildea reports an individual was recently cited for dumping several large bags of trash on a PGC cooperative property. Items in the bags helped to identify the individual.
• Northumberland County WCO Jason Kelley reports citing one individual for banding Canada geese without a permit as well as disturbing wildlife due to the bands growing into the legs of the geese.
• Pike/Monroe County WCO Mark Kropa reports three individuals were recently cited at the SGL183 shooting range for shooting at spinning metal targets. A complaint was received of these subjects acting in an unsafe manner at the range.  Kropa observed the men shooting at the targets from 15 yards at the 25-yard range. They each face fines of up to $200.
• Pike/Monroe County WCO Mark Kropa reports a man from New York and a man from New Jersey recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges for shooting a bear out of season in separate incidents.  They were each fined more than $2,500 and will likely lose their hunting privileges for several years.                         
• Monroe County Officer Bryan Mowrer reports a Carbon County man and a Wisconsin resident were found guilty for the unlawful taking of a black bear and hunting through the use of bait on the opening day of archery bear season. The Wisconsin man told Mowrer he flew in the day before and both men scouted the area for an hour, set up stands and hunted the next morning. Mowrer discovered corn, honey and other attractants spread on trees within 40 yards of the treestands. Both men were given maximum penalties and will lose their Pennsylvania hunting privileges for three years.
• Luzerne County WCO Philip White and other officers apprehended an individual from Lackawanna County for the unlawful killing of a trophy-class black bear that had an estimated live weight of 605 pounds. The Scranton man pleaded guilty to several charges and was ordered to pay fines totaling more than $6,000.

SOUTHEAST REGION

From the Game Commission
• Berks County WCO Eric Anderson reports that a hunter who shot a trophy-class buck from the road was recently found guilty. Fines and replacement costs totaled nearly $7,000. 
• Lancaster County WCO John Veylupek cited an individual for dumping garbage into the Conewago Creek. He also cited individuals for damaging property, littering and possession of drug paraphernalia on State Game Land 156.
• Schuylkill County WCO Kevin Clouser reports filing citations for blocking gates and dumping.
• Philadelphia/Delaware County WCO Jerrold W. Czech Jr. reports that while on patrol in Delaware County, he got a call from a local animal-control officer who was dispatched to an area with two road-killed beavers along Route 320 near Springton Reservoir.
• Berks/Schuylkill County LMGS Matthew D. Belding reports that so far this spring, they have completed 68 acres of controlled burns on Blue Marsh, State Game Lands 280. “More burns are planned; it’s just a matter of getting the proper weather for us to continue,” he said. The burns are a great habitat management tool that promotes new growth and will help eliminate some of the invasive plants that are a detriment to our fields.

From the Fish & Boat Commission
• Chester County WCO Robert Bonney investigated a break in a 30-inch sewer main on March 18 in Tredyffrin Township that resulted in an estimated 5 million gallons of untreated sewage flowing into Valley Creek, a wild trout stream. Emergency repairs were completed the next day, which halted the flow of sewage into the creek. No dead fish were observed at the time, however Bonney and staff from the state DEP are continuing their investigation and their assessment of the impact this pollution incident had on Valley Creek in order to determine what enforcement action should be taken.

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