Capt. Martin Garabedian: (603) 271-3128
Liza Poinier: (603) 271-3211
January 21, 2004

Two Plead Guilty to Wildlife Crimes

CONCORD, N.H. -- On January 20, two New Hampshire men pled guilty to an assortment of wildlife crime charges at Northern Carroll District Court. John W. Hart of Conway was charged with more than 20 crimes; Dennis Hill, also of Conway, had three charges. The charges stemmed from findings of an undercover investigation led by Maine Fish and Wildlife, which in December cracked a major wildlife poaching ring operating near the Maine/New Hampshire border.

According to Lt. Robert Bryant of N.H. Fish and Game, John Hart pled guilty to six misdemeanor charges and 17 violation-level charges. His offenses included taking four deer during closed season; illegal night hunting; taking moose without a proper license; and other violations involving black bear, wild turkeys, ducks, and even an owl (owls are protected species in New Hampshire). Hart's penalties include $3,500 in fines, restitution and court collection fees; $4,050 in suspended fines; and one year in the Carroll County House of Corrections, six months suspended. In addition, Hart forfeited the firearms that were seized in the search, and will lose all hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for ten years.

District Court Judge Pam Albee strongly admonished Hart for his lack of respect for wildlife, and for his utter disregard of fish and wildlife regulations.

Dennis Hall pled guilty to three violation-level offenses: illegal possession of deer, illegal possession of bear and possession of an overlimit of trout. He will pay a $600 fine and lose his fishing and hunting licenses for one year.

As a result of the investigation, 13 individuals from Maine were also charged with numerous wildlife offenses.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources. Its Law Enforcement Division is responsible for the enforcement of all laws, rules and regulations pertaining to fish and wildlife.

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