Ohio Wildlife Officer Indicted

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Allan Wright was a wildlife officer in Ohio and Eric Vaughn is a wildlife officer from South Carolina. Wright sold Vaughn a resident license using Wright's home address for Vaughn. Resident hunting licenses are cheaper than nonresident licenses. Vaughn killed three deer and took them home using this license, and Wright turned in a false harvest report. This incident took place in 2006. In 2009, he had antlers that were seized from a hunter sent to a different hunter in Michigan and he reported that he had disposed of them. In 2010, he was charged with tampering with records and falsifying.

Wright now faces two felony and two misdemeanor trafficking and false labeling charges in connection to alleged violations of the Lacey Act, which prohibits trade in illegally taken, possessed, transported or sold wildlife.

Wright was indicted Wednesday. He is on unpaid, administrative leave and was told to return all of his employer's property. He faces up to $700,000 in fines and 12 years in prison. From Dayton Daily News.

Comments

Retired2hunt's picture

  Yes, this is definitely a

 

Yes, this is definitely a situation where a wildlife office was using their "power" to circumvent the laws he is expected to uphold himself.  Sometime the bad apple turns out to be an insider.  I think his thought process was comparable to a policeman allowing another to slide by on something greater than a misdemeanor.  There is much more to this story than what this article provides.  There are 5 other ODNR employees also under indictment for trying to "sweep" this situation under the rug with no questioning.  "Five other ODNR employees face felony charges of Obstructing Justice and Complicity to Obstruct Justice in the case.  They are Division of Wildlife Chief David Graham, Assistant Chief Randy Miller, Human Resources Administrator Michele Ward-Tackett, Law Enforcement Administrator James Lehman and District 5 Manager, Todd Haines. ODNR spokesperson Mike Shelton said a felony conviction for any of the individuals would likely result in the loss of employment and their state pension benefits." 

http://browncountypress.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=10572

All of this just to save $106 dollars in license fees to buy a resident license versus a non-resident one.  The guy also "allegedly" misused his authority to confiscate a set of whitetail antlers and sent them to a friend in Michigan.  He was to destroy these antlers and falsely filed that he had done so.  http://www.ohiodnr.com/home_page/NewsReleases/tabid/18276/EntryId/2409/Ohio-Wildlife-Officer-Charged-With-Federal-Lacey-Act-Crimes.aspx

Definitely a group of rotten apples within the ODNR... but there are many many more upstanding and ethical officers there that do their job and uphold the laws.

 

hunter25's picture

These are the crimes that

These are the crimes that really drive me crazy. It's bad enough all the game laws that get broken already and the minumal penalties that some guys end up paying for them. But to see game officers breaking the same laws they are being paid to uphold is disgusting. I guess corruption can run rampant anywhere but it just seems worse here. There are a lot of game laws that I don't agree with but many of them were put in place for a valid or logical reason at some point and whether we agree or not they must be obeyed. It's hard to hard to make a point with the poachers when some of the officers are poachers as well. Hopefully the punishment will be carried out to fit the crime. I don't like paying some of the high license fees either but that's the cost of what I love to do and will continue with as many as I can afford.