June 20, 2008
Crossville, Tennessee - Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers
recently made history in the state utilizing the Wildlife Violator’s Compact. A
Bradley County man received jail time after he violated his Tennessee wildlife
violation probation by fishing in another state.
July 8, Kurt Wesley Ellis, 31, of Cleveland, pled guilty to the charge he
violated his probation by fishing in Georgia. He received two consecutive
364-day jail terms in Bradley County with credit for time served up to that
point in both states.
“This is the first time a violator has received jail time as a result of
utilizing the Wildlife Violator’s Compact,” said Fred Funter, TWRA Compact
In January 2009, after pleading guilty to 12 wildlife violation charges in
Bradley County, Ellis received in addition to fines, 10 days in jail to serve,
100 hours of community service, and two years of intense probation.
“Ellis’ hunting and fishing privileges had already been revoked for a 20-year
period in Tennessee as a result of previous charges,” said Phillip Earhart,
Bradley County TWRA Wildlife Officer. “Back in November 2008, TWRA discovered
evidence that suggested Ellis was violating his hunting privilege revocation.
After that we received additional information he was operating on both sides of
the Tennessee and Georgia state line and numerous officers from both states
became involved in attempting to catch Ellis in the act of hunting or fishing.”
Wildlife officers continued to gather information and this spring Tennessee
officers Earhart and fellow Bradley County officer, Ben Davis, received
information that Ellis was fishing in a trout stream in Georgia. They contacted
Georgia Department of Natural Resources, local officer, Cpl. Casey Jones. Cpl.
Jones apprehended Ellis and charged him with three charges in Georgia. With
assistance from the Bradley County District Attorney’s office, Ellis was placed
on hold in the Murray County, Ga., jail and later transferred to the Bradley
County Jail to face the charge of probation violation.
“I cannot say enough good things about how hard numerous Tennessee wildlife
officers worked on this case and how well we all worked with our counterparts in
Georgia,” said Earhart. “This is a testament that the Wildlife Violator’s
Compact works for the sportsmen when the proper information is shared.”
Ellis is still facing charges in Hamilton County, Tennessee and Murray County.
Tennessee and Georgia are two of the 34 states currently members of the Wildlife
Violator’s Compact. Three other states have passed legislation to join, and
three additional states are in the process to initiate the process to join.
Tennessee became a member in 2005.