The charges just keep rolling in on this case.
Since last year, we've been keeping you up to date on one of the largest poaching rings ever in Washington and Oregon. This is the ring that officials in Washington and Oregon have both called "the worst they've ever seen."
Since the multi-state investigation into this ring began, investigators in both states now believe the group poached hundreds of animals including mountain lions, bears, deer, elk, squirrels and even bobcats. And, this case just keeps getting worse and worse with every new development. The men are now facing an astonishing 122 charges in the case.
The two biggest suspects in the latest wave of charges are 24-year-old Erik Martin, who's facing 42 misdemeanors, and 24-year-old William Haynes, who's facing 45. The majority of the charges this time around are for poaching deer.
Also facing charges are 20-year-old Kimberly Crape, 56-year-old Eddy Dills, 18-year-old Sierra Dills, 31-year-old Joseph Dills, 35-year-old Aaron Hendricks, 36-year-old Aubri McKenna, 38-year-old Aaron Hanson and 59-year-old David McLeskey.
Eddy and Joseph Dills are also notable two key suspects in Sakamania County, Washington. When authorities dropped charges on the group there in October 2017, the two both pleaded not guilty to a staggering 118 charges.
These newest charges are just the latest in Oregon. Members of the group have been charged in four other Washington counties for wildlife crimes, too.
One of the few alleged members of the ring to plead guilty so far was Brian Tretiak. In November 2017, he pleaded guilty to a second-degree poaching charge and received a $500 fine and 14 days of community service. Authorities believed he was involved in the poaching of at least 30 bears with the group over a two-year period.
As the charges continue to pile up in both states, it's probably a safe bet that these cases will be dragging out for years.
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