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Lewiston Man Sentenced For Game Violation

May 1, 2006

LEWISTON - Butchering a deer near East Main Street in Lewiston resulted in a $1,980 fine, loss of hunting and fishing privileges for three years, loss of rifle, probation for two years and 90 days served in jail for Richard Lee Black, age 27, of Lewiston, Idaho.

On June 2, 2006, Nez Perce County District Judge Carl Kerrick sentenced Black, a convicted felon, with unlawful possession of wildlife.

The case began November 3, 2005 when Idaho Fish and Game Conservation Officer, George Fischer responded to reports of three men butchering a deer in the back of a grey four-wheel drive Chevrolet pickup parked near Larry's Foods in North Lewiston.

When Fischer arrived at the scene, he observed a carton of bullets on the dashboard and three individuals in the truck bed butchering a mature whitetail buck. Noticing there was no deer tag attached to the carcass, Fischer asked who shot the deer. After a brief silence, Black said that the deer belonged to Troy, his brother-in-law's friend who just left. Black then said that he did not hunt, and he let Troy borrow his truck to go hunting on Webb Ridge south of Lewiston. After further questioning, Black denied having any guns in the vehicle and gave Fischer permission to search his vehicle. Fischer soon discovered several spent 30-30 rifle shells, a Marlin 30-30, binoculars, and a spotlight plugged into the cigarette lighter.

Fischer explained to Black that without a tag, the deer was unlawful. He then seized the deer and rifle and advised him that he would be charged with possession of unlawfully taken deer if Troy did not come to the Fish and Game office and explain why the deer was not tagged. Black assured Fischer that Troy truly existed and that he would bring him to the office later that afternoon.

Fischer then drove to the Clearwater Regional office and at 3:00 p.m., determined the deer's temperature was 64 degrees Fahrenheit along the femur bones. The temperature was indicative of an animal that had been killed 10 to 12 hours prior, thus was likely killed with the aid of artificial light approximately 3:00 to 5:00 a.m. that morning.

After further investigation, Fischer discovered that Black was a suspended driver and a convicted felon who could not posses a firearm. Black was also cited for failure to tag, driving while suspended and in possession of a firearm. These charges were dismissed and Black pled guilty to the misdemeanor charge of unlawful possession of wildlife.

"This sentence sends a strong message that this sort of illegal activity won't be tolerated," Fischer said. "The Nez Perce County Court system affirmed the seriousness of this crime with the penalty given."

Concerned citizens play a vital role in helping protect Idaho's wildlife. Anyone with information about wildlife violations are urged to contact their nearest Fish and Game office, any local law enforcement authority or call the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline at 1-800-632-5999. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.


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