Anonymous tip ends up costing poacher $18,000 in fines

August 08, 2011 at 02:09 PM

SPRINGFIELD - An Aledo man has pleaded guilty to 27 misdemeanors for Wildlife Code violations and fined more than $18,000, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

James A. Gauley, 24, was investigated by Illinois Conservation Police following an anonymous tip to the Target Illinois Poachers Hotline (877-236-7529). The investigated offenses date back to October 2008.

Gauley was fined $18,033 and cannot hunt or participate in a hunting party for 15 years, according to the court order. He was released on a conditional discharge.

In January, the Conservation Police initiated an investigation with the assistance of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, Mercer County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois State Police Crime Lab.

Arrests were made in March of James Gauley, Colten J. Brunenn, 19, Robert L. Gauley, 74, and Coty C. Greer, 24, all of Aledo.

Here’s a breakdown of the charges James Gauley pleaded guilty to, according to the Mercer County State’s Attorney’s Office:

On or about Oct. 1, 2008, Nov. 9, 2008, Nov. 11, 2008, Oct. 9, 2009, Oct. 31, 2009, Nov. 22, 2009, Oct. 24, 2010, Oct. 29, 2010, Nov. 11, 2010, and twice on Dec. 26, 2010, James Gauley committed the offense of unlawful possession of an illegally taken deer.

On or about April 13, 2009, he committed the offense of taking/possession of a protected species-Great Blue Heron.

On or about May 22, 2009, he unlawfully possessed of freshly killed rabbit during a closed season, using a compound bow.

On or about Nov. 22, 2009, he committed the offenses of unlawful taking of a whitetail deer without a valid firearm deer permit and unlawful use of a fraudulent deer permit.

On or about Oct. 2010, he committed the offense of unlawful taking of a wild turkey without a valid archery turkey permit.

On or about Oct. 24, 2010, he committed the offense of unlawful used of another individual’s deer permit when he shot a 6-point buck with a compound bow and tagged it with his father’s permit.

On or about Oct. 29, 2010, he committed the offense of falsification of documents-harvest record when he recorded the harvest in his father’s name.

On or about Nov. 12 through Nov. 15, 2010, he committed the offense of unlawful taking of over the limit of antlered bucks.

On or about Dec. 9, 2010, he committed the offense of unlawful taking of a whitetail deer without a valid deer permit.

On or about Dec. 19, 2010, he committed the offense of unlawful deer hunting/harassing wildlife with the use/aid of a motor vehicle when he ran over a deer with his ATV, using the ATV as a weapon by continually driving over the deer until it was dead.

On or about Jan. 7, 2011, he committed the offenses of unlawful taking of a whitetail deer without a valid deer permit, twice, and unlawful deer hunting/harassing wildlife with use/aid of a motor vehicle when he killed doe while shooting out of his vehicle from the roadway.

On or about Jan. 12, 2011, he committed the offenses of unlawful of deer hunting with use/aid of a motor vehicle when he killed an anterless buck while shooting out of his vehicle from the roadway, unlawful taking of a whitetail deer without a valid deer permit and unlawful taking of a whitetail deer with an illegal method when he killed an anterless buck with a .22-250 rifle.

Colten J. Brunenn’s case is pending, and he has received citations for unlawful hunting with use/aid of a motor vehicle; unlawful hunting from a roadway; unlawful transportation of an uncased/loaded firearm in a vehicle; unlawfully attempting to take a deer with a rifle; unlawful transportation of open alcoholic beverage in a vehicle by a passenger and littering from a vehicle. Other complaints pending include unlawful possession of a controlled substance; contributing to unlawful activity/unlawful possession/transportation of illegally taken deer; and attempting to take deer without a valid permit.

Robert L. Gauley’s case is pending on the following: two counts each of unlawful gift/transfer of deer permit and unlawful transportation/possession of an illegally taken whitetail deer.

Coty C. Greer pleaded guilty and was fined $120 for unlawful possession of inedible parts of a protected species-Red-Tailed Hawk.

Captain Greg Hunter, IDNR Police Region I Commander, stated that “This is an example of how the public can assist the Conservation Police in protecting our state’s valuable natural resources.”

Hunter went on by expressing his praise for the diligence of the Mercer County State’s Attorney’s Office in their aggressive prosecution of this case.

“Most hunters are law abiding citizens who enjoy the time they spend out-of-doors with friends and family while participating in hunting activities. The Illinois Conservation Police cannot accomplish their mission alone, we need the help of those who will stand up against those few individuals that not only violate laws designed to protect Illinois’ natural resources but who also endanger the safety of it’s citizens,” he said.