Judge gives three men jail time for poaching violations

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 23, 2000

Three men, including one from Natchez, were sentenced to time in prison Monday for federal poaching violations.

Charles Jones, 46, of Natchez, was sentenced to three months in prison and a $500 fine.

Darrell Triche, 50, of Alma, La., was sentenced to three months and a $500 fine. Daniel Martin, 42, of Harvey, La., who is considered to be the leader of the group, was sentenced to six months and a $500 fine.

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Judge David Bramlette sentenced the defendants in federal court in Natchez.

The judge decided even Jones – the least involved in the operation – needed to serve time in jail.

&uot;If a defendant has to serve time incarcerated … you know what it’s like to forfeit you freedom,&uot; Bramlette said.

The judge gave the defendants three years of probation for their felony charges. During that time, they cannot take part in any form of hunting, including trapping or the use of a bow and arrow. And as convicted felons, they are prohibited from owning firearms for the rest of their lives.

The defendants pleaded guilty in federal court this summer for purchasing illegal deer meat which violates the Lacy Act. The act makes it a crime to purchase or sell wildlife that has been obtained in violation of state law.

Robert L. Oliveri, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said officials have videotapes of the defendants buying the meat. Their arrests were part of a two-year undercover operation knows as &uot;Operation Cold Storage.&uot;

The operation included several arrests and involved federal officials because it spanned two states – Louisiana and Mississippi.

Four Warren County residents videotaped killing deer with illegal weapons and by spotlighting deer at night were sentenced this month in Vicksburg. Gaming officials estimate at least 750 deer in the Warren County to Adams County area were illegally hunted over the last five-years.

Bramlette thinks it is important to enforce poaching violations to protect wildlife.

Not doing so will &uot;cause us to follow the path of the buffalo and the carrier pigeon,&uot; he said.

&uot;It’s just a shame some people abuse the resource,&uot; said John Collins, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The defendants will begin serving their sentences January 8.