Anonymous tip leads to poaching charges for four people.
The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife division has charged four people for poaching at least 27 big game animals in a case that may result in huge fines.
In a press release, the OSP F&W said criminal citations were issued to 34-year-old William Hollings, 39-year-old Nicholas Lisenby, 33-year-old Eric Hamilton and 37-year-old Amanda Hughes for alleged crimes that crossed county lines to Linn, Lane, Lincoln, Tillamook and Polk counties.
Authorities believe at least 27 big game animals including elk, deer, bear, mountain lions and bobcats were allegedly poached by the group. The OSP is keeping the exact details of these poaching incidents quiet until they go to court, but the press release states that a search warrant used on Hollings' home in Philomath led the OSP to seek warrants for the other suspects.
Search warrants for the others were served on April 25 and the penalties for the alleged crimes could be steep. Under new rules for increased fines for poaching crimes, the four could be facing $162,700 in restitution payments for the illegally taken animals. The press release states they could also lose hunting and fishing privileges.
The OSP released an image of some of the evidence seized in the case which included antlers from elk and deer. Wildlife officials are thanking a tip called into the state's Turn in Poachers Hotline.
"We had an anonymous member of the public lodge the original complaint," Senior Trooper Jim Andrews said in the release. "He's the reason we got this case going and he's going to get some hunting preference points."
Oregon's TIP line offers incentives in the form of cash or preference points for any report that leads to arrests or citations in wildlife crime. The suspects in this case were not taken into custody, but they were issued criminal citations.
We will keep an eye on this case as it progresses and will let you know the outcome when it comes in here at Wide Open Spaces.