Three Men Plead Guilty to Poaching From a Plane
Three men pled guilty in Oak Grove on Friday February 7, 2003, for illegally killing a trophy buck in West Carroll Parish on November 28, 2001. Adam Ray Plunkett, age 37 of Epps, and Daniel Heath Clement, age 29, and Grady W. Brown Jr., age 32, both of Lake Providence were sentenced by 5th Judicial District Court Judge Rudy McIntyre. Plunkett, Brown and Clement were each sentenced to pay $500 for hunting from a moving vehicle (airplane) and $750 for possession of an illegally taken deer plus court costs of $269. Two additional charges of criminal trespass and taking deer by illegal methods were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. In addition to the $1,519 in fines and court costs, each was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended. They also lost their hunting privileges in Louisiana for one year and in West Carroll Parish for two years. All three will additionally pay $1000 each to Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc.
The investigation began after enforcement agents from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries received information that Clement and Brown spotted the deer while flying over an open field located in West Carroll Parish. After landing the plane, Clement, Brown and Plunkett, who are all agriculture pilots, went back to the field by truck. They went onto private property and Clement used a rifle to shoot the buck that was found lying down in the field. On the day the deer was killed, the deer season in West Carroll was open only to archery equipment. Following a lengthy investigation, agents had gathered enough evidence to obtain an arrest warrant, issued by 5th Judicial District Court Judge Glen Strong. Bond had been set at $20,000 each.
The 15 point, non-typical buck, which had a Boone and Crockett gross score of 178 5/8, was entered into two big buck contests, one at Simmons Sporting Goods in Morehouse Parish and one at T.P Outdoors in Ouachita Parish. Two counts of contest fraud in the Fourth Judicial District are pending. The antlers and deer meat were forfeited to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Agents participating in the case were Captain Alan Bankston, Sgt. Scott Mathews, Senior Agents Darren Bruce, Brian Rawls, Billy Richardson and Jamey Hagan. Fifth Judicial District Attorney Billy Coenan and Assistant District Attorney John Mack Lancaster prosecuted the case.