Two Deer Poachers Convicted

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Two Warren County men have been convicted of a range of wildlife violations following an extensive investigation by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

George A. Plessinger, 45, of Carlisle, was sentenced to 90 days in jail in the Warren County Common Pleas Court by Judge James L. Flannery for numerous wildlife violations, including felonious assault of a wildlife officer. Keith Beavers, 45, of Franklin, an associate of Plessinger, was also convicted of numerous wildlife violations.

In the course of the investigation, Plessinger ran over Rick Rogers, state wildlife officer for Warren County, with an all-purpose vehicle. Rogers sustained injuries to his leg. Plessinger was arrested for assault on a law enforcement officer, spotlighting deer, taking deer with a rifle, possession of an untagged deer and interference with a wildlife officer.

He was indicted for felonious assault, assault with a gun specification and tampering with evidence. Plessinger pleaded guilty to felonious assault and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

In addition, Plessinger’s 2002 all-purpose vehicle, hunting gear and rifle, valued at more than $6,000, were forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. His Ohio hunting privileges were suspended for life and he was ordered to pay restitution for officer Rogers’ medical expenses. This, coupled with fines levied against him in municipal court, totaled $3,237.

Plessinger also is on three years probation. Violation of the probation will put him in prison for six years.

Keith Beavers, who had previously been arrested in Adams County in 1999 for multiple wildlife violations, was arrested and charged with 23 counts of illegally taking and possessing deer.

The charges against Beavers included spotlighting, taking deer with a rifle, and taking deer during the closed season. He was convicted of taking deer with a rifle, taking deer during the closed season, possession of deer parts without a tag, seal, or certificate, and aiding an offender.

He paid fines totaling $650 and restitution in the amount of $6,500. Additionally, his all-purpose vehicle, rifle, hunting gear, and illegal deer were forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. His hunting privileges were suspended for five years.

“We are pleased with the convictions, fines and restitution levied against George A. Plessinger and Keith Beavers,” said Dan Schneider, law enforcement administrator for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. “Further, we are appreciative of the assistance received from other law enforcement agencies, the USFWS Laboratory and the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab, in helping us make our case against these two individuals.”

During the investigation, Rogers and Division of Wildlife District Five investigators used DNA analysis, through the USFWS Lab, to tie both men and the blood on their all-purpose vehicles to the illegally taken deer. Using the regional crime lab facilities, wildlife enforcement staff was able to determine that Beavers had altered a road-kill receipt in an attempt to cover up an illegal nine-point buck in his possession.