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Charges filed in Centre/Clearfield County Poaching Case

PHILIPSBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Chris Ivicic recently filed charges against six individuals from the Philipsburg area for their involvement in a two-night shooting spree of deer that took place this past fall, two weeks prior to the opening of deer season.

Two 16-year-olds, and four adults received citations for the killing of 20 deer. Charges include: 20 counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting; two counts of loaded firearms in vehicles; two counts of restrictions on recreational spotlighting; two counts of littering and restrictions on vehicles; and one count on regulations, possession without a permit. Game and Wildlife Code charges were filed before District Justice Allen Sinclair, in Philipsburg.

If convicted on all counts, the individuals face fines of up to $12,900. Revocations on these individuals' hunting and furtaking privileges combined could total up to 47 years.

Michael W. Welder Jr., 19; Brooks R. Fry, 21; and a 16-year old juvenile, all of Philipsburg, were each charged with three counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting.

Joshua M. Mackey, 19, of Moundsville, West Virginia, formerly of Philipsburg, also was charged with three counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting.

David L. Shoffner, 22, and a 16- year old juvenile, both of Philipsburg, were each charged with four counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting, along with a single charge each of: loaded firearms in vehicles; littering and restrictions on vehicles; and restrictions on recreational spotlighting. The 16-year-old also received one charge under Title 58, Regulations.

According to the defendants' statements, they were not real sure how many deer they actually shot. Their own estimations were anywhere from 25 to 35 deer, including several large rack bucks. Some of the deer were shot multiple times. The investigation resulted in sufficient forensic evidence to charge them with 20 deer.

"This is a case of gross disrespect for wildlife and for Pennsylvania's hunting ethics," said WCO Ivicic. "I would like to thank those citizens who took the time to contact the Game Commission and provide the information we needed to file these charges."

Last Updated: 02/24/05



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