Three juveniles and man charged in local poaching case

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WABASH COUNTY, Ill. (WEHT) – Authorities announced charges against three juveniles and a man in a local poaching case that spans two states Thursday.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police said the juveniles and Richard Stringfellow, 46, face several felony and misdemeanor charges.

Authorities said the charges come after search warrants were executed January 8 near Mount Carmel.

“Charges in this case really run the gambit. They include everything from felony resource theft, unlawful taking of whitetail deer, unlawful use of tag of another person, and unlawful use of a spotlight to felony animal torture, reckless driving, criminal trespass to real property, and unlawful discharge of a firearm from a public right of way,” said Wabash County State’s Attorney Kelli Storckman. “Those are just the tip of the iceberg and, unfortunately, most of the charges were brought against juveniles.”

“On. Jan. 7, our officers received information regarding alleged poaching near Mount Carmel, Illinois, and across the Wabash River in Indiana,” said Timothy Tyler, director, IDNR Office of Law Enforcement. “Our officers worked quickly, notifying Indiana Department of Conservation Police Officers and the local state’s attorney to obtain the necessary search warrants. Upon execution of those warrants, our officers recovered evidence of multiple felony and misdemeanor acts, both in Illinois and in Indiana.”

“At the conclusion of the interviews, the investigating officers found evidence that the three juvenile subjects allegedly killed more than 20 deer in Illinois and Indiana during the 2019, 2020 and 2021 deer seasons,” Tyler said. “Further, many of the deer were shot from pickup trucks using spotlights and rifles while others were intentionally run over. Perhaps the most disappointing information our officers discovered is that no meat from any of the deer illegally taken was used.”

Authorities said they confiscated eight deer, two rifles, one muzzleloader, one bow and a string of hawk talons. Authorities said two pickup trucks believed to be used during the crimes were also seized. More than 55 charges were filed in this case, including felony resource theft, felony animal abuse, falsification of records, and unlawful taking of deer.

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