Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Five Sussex hunters cited for multiple charges in illegal hunting investigation
DOVER (Nov. 27, 2013) – As part of their mission to achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Natural Resources Police, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents concluded a week-long investigation into illegal hunting practices in Sussex County. Five persons were cited on charges including untagged deer, illegal method of take, hunting by persons prohibited and illegally selling wildlife.
Those cited were:
· Jerry W. Miller Jr., 28, of Laurel, was arrested Nov. 18 and charged with eight counts of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited; four counts each of third degree conspiracy and purchasing/selling wildlife (white-tailed deer); and one count each of resisting arrest, carrying a loaded weapon in a motor vehicle and failure to wear required hunter orange. Miller was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown in default of $42,300 secured bond, pending a later trial date.
· Michael T. Hyson Jr., 28, of Frankford, was arrested Nov. 19 and charged with four counts of third degree conspiracy; six counts each of failure to tag antlered deer, failure to check antlered deer, and hunting deer during archery season with a firearm; 16 counts of purchasing/selling wildlife (white-tailed deer); 18 counts each of failure to tag antlerless deer and failure to check antlerless deer; eight counts of possess unlawfully taken game (white-tailed deer); and one count of failure to wear required hunter orange. Hyson was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institute in Georgetown in default of $52,500 secured bond, pending a later trial date.
· Terry W. Toomey, 26, of Laurel, was arrested Nov. 20 and charged with three counts each of possession of firearm by a person prohibited and hunting without a license; two counts each of failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours and failure to attach tag to an antlerless deer; and one count each of possession of unlawfully killed antlered deer, purchasing/selling wildlife (white-tailed deer); and hunting deer with a rifle. Toomey was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released on $12,575 unsecured bond pending trial at a later date.
· Simon Hicks, 56, of Laurel, was arrested Nov. 25 and charged with 16 counts of purchasing/selling wildlife (white-tailed deer). Hicks pled guilty to six counts of purchasing/selling wildlife (white-tailed deer) at Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown, and was fined $1,242.
· A fifth defendant in the case was cited Nov. 18 for carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, failure to wear required hunter orange and no hunting license, and faces potential fines totaling $296.
The charges resulting from this investigation help protect Delaware’s wildlife resources and reduce the threat to public safety that can result from illegal hunting practices and illegal possession of firearms.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.
Vol. 43, No. 454