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Goshen Men Face Charges for Federal and State Wildlife Violations

March 30, 2012
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   04/02/12 Indiana Conservation Officers received a tip from a concerned citizen implicating three Goshen men of multiple Federal and State wildlife violations.  Christopher Simmons (41), Ronald Simmons (46), and Mark Roberts (41) now face possible charges in both Federal and State Court following an extensive investigation by Conservation Officers.

Conservation Officers allege that brothers Christopher Simmons and Ronald Simmons trapped and killed federally protected raptors including a Great Horned Owl, Red Tail Hawks, and Coopers Hawks.  The birds were caught in a pole trap and then shot.  A pole trap is a device that is placed on a perch specifically designed to trap birds of prey.  The traps would instantly break the hollow bones of the raptors legs and the birds would be stuck there until they were shot.

During the investigation, Conservation Officers also discovered multiple deer parts that were found on the suspect’s property.  Brothers Christopher Simmons and Ronald Simmons along with cousin Mark Roberts face charges for illegal possession and check station violations.

    A total of 12 Raptors, 13 Whitetail Deer head, and 177 pounds of processed deer meat were seized from Christopher Simmons property.  Conservation Officers also seized 2 pole traps, 3 rifles, 2 shotguns, and 1 handgun that were allegedly used in the illegal taking of wildlife.  All of the seized items are subject to forfeiture upon a conviction.

Christopher Simmons is facing the following possible charges:

  • 1 count; Illegal taking/possession of whitetail deer – Class B Misdemeanor
  • 11 counts; Illegal taking/possession of a federally protected species – Class C Misdemeanor
  • 1 count; Check station violation – Class C Misdemeanor
  • 1 count; Trapping with illegal device – Class C Misdemeanor
  • 1 count; Illegal possession of a raccoon without a permit – Class C Misdemeanor

Ronal Simmons is facing the following possible charges:

  • 3 counts; Illegal taking/possession of whitetail deer – Class B Misdemeanor
  • 7 counts; Illegal taking/possession of a federally protected species – Class C Misdemeanor
  • 2 counts; Check station violation – Class C Misdemeanor

Mark Roberts is facing the following possible charge:

  • 1 count; Check station violation – Class C Misdemeanor

A Class B Misdemeanor conviction carries a penalty up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $1,000.  A Class C Misdemeanor conviction carries a penalty up to 60 days in jail and fines up to $500.  A person convicted of illegal possession of whitetail deer shall reimburse the state $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each subsequent violation.

Conservation Officers credit this case to the concerned citizen who turned in information leading to the investigation.  Anyone with information regarding any fish and wildlife violations are urged to contact Conservation Officers.  Violations can be reported by calling 800-TIP-IDNR or on the TIP website www.1800tipidnr.org.  Callers can remain anonymous and are subject to a reward if information leads to a conviction.  Information can also be reported to any Conservation Officers District Headquarters which can be found online in the “contact us” portion of the DNR Law Enforcement website www.in.gov/dnr/lawenfor/.

 

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