Londonderry Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession and Sale of Turtles
CONTACT: CO Geoff Pushee: 603-271-3361 Lt. James Juneau: 603-271-3361
CONCORD, N.H. – On July 11, 2014 Richard Decoste of Londonderry pled guilty in the Derry Circuit Court for illegal possession and sale of threatened and endangered turtles.
In May, New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officers became aware of an individual advertising the sale of Spotted Turtles (state threatened) and Blanding's Turtles (state endangered). Further investigation, which included the purchase of a Spotted Turtle, resulted in Conservation Officer Geoffrey Pushee obtaining a search warrant for Mr. Decoste's residence and an arrest warrant for Mr. Decoste.
While executing the search warrant Conservation Officers seized an additional ten Spotted Turtles and two Blanding's Turtles from the residence. Mr. Decoste was ultimately charged with possessing a threatened species, a Class-B Misdemeanor, and the sale of a threatened species, also a Class-B Misdemeanor. Mr. Decoste pled guilty to both charges and paid just over $1,000 in fines. All of the turtles have since been returned to their native habitats.
This case is a good reminder for all people that enjoy nature and the outdoors to leave non-game animals where they belong, so that others may enjoy them in their natural state. Possession of most living wildlife in New Hampshire is illegal without obtaining a permit from the NH Fish and Game Department. Furthermore, the sale of any living native wildlife in the state is also prohibited.
For more information on wildlife and rules pertaining to wildlife in New Hampshire, please visit the New Hampshire Fish and Game Departments Website at wildnh.com
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