Seven men nabbed for poaching deer |

Seven men nabbed for poaching deer

MEEKER, Colo. Six men from New York and another from Massachusetts spent a night in jail and paid a total of $42,000 for their illegal hunting activities in northwest Colorado. The men were nabbed by officers with the Colorado Division of Wildlife after landowners in the Meeker area reported suspicious activity involving a black Hummer with out-of-state plates.On Nov. 17, wildlife officers were called about a deer that had been shot illegally on private property. Evidence was collected at the scene and witnesses were interviewed. On Nov. 19, wildlife officers contacted seven individuals. The men were identified as: Thomas M. Gray, 35, Raymond E. Selah Jr., 41, and David B. Souza Jr., 49, all of St. Johnsville, N.Y., along with Stanley D. Tomiewicz, 60, of Acushnet, Mass., Robert Bertholde, 54, of Fort Plain, N.Y., David W. Weber, 34, of Nelliston, N.Y., and Timothy P. Rocklin, 21, Fort Plain, N.Y.The men consented to a search of a bunkhouse and the surrounding property. During the search, wildlife officers found numerous animal carcasses and antlers. Several of the carcasses were legally tagged, but other carcasses were not tagged or were tagged with invalid licenses. Several of the carcasses, including one covered by a tarp and hay bales in a horse trailer, had been intentionally concealed on the property. Investigation eventually revealed at least five mule deer carcasses at the residence, while only two of the men held valid deer licenses.On Nov. 20, the men were arraigned in Rio Blanco County Court. The local District Attorney and the DOW agreed to allow each of the men to plead guilty to illegal possession of wildlife. Each man agreed to pay a $6,000 fine. They also face an administrative hearing that will determine the length of time that the men will be barred from hunting and fishing in Colorado and 23 other Wildlife Violator Compact member states.Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Colo. CO

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