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October 26, 2012
UPDATE: Ripley Deer Poaching Case
Ripley, Maine - The Maine Warden Service recently concluded the investigation into the four deer that were night hunted in Ripley during the first week of October. Game Wardens started investigating this criminal incident on Monday, October 8 when a call was received about three dead deer found in a field on the Lane Road in Ripley, Maine which is located in Southern Somerset County. This case was made possible with the help of the public and considerable assistance and information sharing with the Somerset County Sherriff’s office. As a result of this information, warrants were obtained.
From those search warrants, game wardens were able to collect evidence and obtain further information about suspects involved in the killing of the deer. Deputies also found drug evidence at both residences. During the investigation wardens learned of a fifth deer that was night hunted by this group during the same time frame in October. Wardens also found a fresh deer that had been run over with a vehicle. The deer was kept and the crash was not reported to any law enforcement agency. The investigation revealed that Jesse Kwasnieski, 21, from Harmony, has been identified as the primary person responsible for the killing of the deer while night hunting. He has been arrested and charged with multiple violations.
Game Warden Lieutenant Kevin Adam stated “biologists and wardens having been working hard to implement initiatives to increase the deer herd and provide quality hunting opportunities for deer hunters. This group has worked against the mission of the Department with their criminal hunting activity.” This case would have taken more time with increased difficulty without the help from the public. Operation Game Thief received important information that was critical to the investigation.
The following people have received summons as a result of this investigation.
Jesse Kwasniewski, 21, from Harmony: Arrested by warrant for three counts of night hunting, one count of hunting under the influence. Jesse Kwasniewski was also charged with two other counts of night hunting, five counts of hunting or possessing deer in closed season, shooting too close to a dwelling, shooting from motor vehicle, and hunting without a license.
Maynard Kwasniewski, 42, from Harmony: Arrested on warrant and summonsed for drug related violations. Summonsed for placing bait to entice deer, and possession of unlabeled deer meat.
Roger Bickmore, 23, from Harmony: Summonsed for possession of deer killed at night.
Vicki Boutilier, 44, from Harmony: Summonsed for possession of deer killed at night
17-year-old juvenile female from the Dexter area: Summonsed for night hunting, illuminating wildlife, and illegal transportation of deer.
Three additional subjects are due to be charged in connection with this case.
If you have information about illegal hunting activity and want to ensure a Game Warden response please call Maine Operation Game Thief at 1-800- 253-7887 (1-800- ALERTUS) or on the web go to www.maineogt.org and remember, you can report by filling out the Tip Reporting Form on line. Be a Sport and Report.
Maine Game Wardens need the public and sporting community to assist in stopping criminal hunting activity this time of year. Some examples of criminal hunting activity that wardens need assistance from you are hearing shots at night in areas known to be inhabited by wildlife, spotlighting [or illuminating fields], illegal tree stand or blinds on landowners property, baited areas, illegal killing of wildlife by night hunting, or exceeding the bag limit.
Operation Game thief offered a $3,000 dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for this crime. The Operation Game Thief board of directors has a process to give rewards to people that give information on fish and game crimes.Game Wardens Tom McKenney, Josh Bubier, Jonathan Parker, Jared Herrick, and Josh Tibbetts, along with Sergeant Chris Simmons worked hard on this investigation along with other wardens who were called in to assist.
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