SPRINGFIELD — Four men have pleaded guilty to poaching in Williamson County, according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
IDNR conservation police and the Williamson County State’s Attorney teamed up to curb poaching in southern Illinois last month by collecting $5,000 in fines after four defendants pled guilty to unlawful use of a rifle.
“Our officers monitor Illinois’ public lands and check in on hunters who hunt on private lands during the state’s various hunting seasons,” Captain Eric Manker, IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, said. “During the second firearm deer season, CPOs Johnson and Spinka located four subjects from Indiana who were deer hunting with rifles. The subjects didn’t have the required permits or hunting licenses, and had in their possession two untagged, harvested deer.”
Defendants Jon Reynolds, Tim Allen, James Hall, and Cade Cruse were cited for hunting with a rifle, no permits and no hunting license, IDNR said.
Reynolds and Allen also were cited for unlawful take of a three-point buck, unlawful take of a doe, fraudulently obtaining permits, and unlawful possession of deer, IDNR said.
Additionally, Illinois Conservation Police seized the four rifles used and donated the two untagged deer to a local animal rehabilitator to help feed injured wildlife, IDNR said.
Reynolds, Allen, Hall and Cade appeared in court in early May and paid $5,000 in fines, forfeited all four rifles to the IDNR, and were sentenced to 12 months supervision after pleading guilty to unlawful use of a rifle.
“We would like to thank Williamson County State’s Attorney Brandon Zanotti and Assistant State’s Attorney John Currie for their help in this case and for their continued support in sending a strong message to potential poachers,” said Sergeant Kris Taylor, IDNR Office of Law Enforcement. “Our Conservation Police go to great efforts to catch those who violate our laws and the Williamson County State’s Attorney’s Office has again proven to be a strong ally in protecting our resources.”
— The Southern