3 Audubon men plead guilty of poaching raccoons

Jan. 7, 2011

Audubon, Ia. — Three Audubon men pleaded guilty last month of being involved in the poaching of at least 72 raccoons.

Ben Petersen, 18, Scott Downer, 19, and Chris Groninga, 20, were each fined about $1,000 and had their hunting privileges suspended for at least two years.

Jeremy King, an Iowa Department of Natural Resources officer, said the men were shooting raccoons and selling their hides. They were charged after officers received tips about the poaching.

A fourth man, Michael Sonntag, 19, of Audubon, is scheduled to go on trial this month. He faces similar charges as well as separate allegations of hunting violations in unrelated incidents..

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