August 19, 2014

From BrainerdDispatch.com

A 36-year-old Royalton man who was sentenced in December of 2013 with a petty misdemeanor of aiding and assisting in setting a wildlife trap without identification in Morrison County lost his appeal in court Monday.

Royce Ryan Teague argued that such a charge is not permissible under state law, in that he should have received a jury trial and that the district court erred by amending the original charge to include aiding and assisting.

Teague argued that a petty misdemeanor is not a crime.

Teague was given a citation for setting or placing a trap without proper identification, a petty misdemeanor.

Joyce Kuske, a local game warden, testified that she received a tip about a man traveling in a camouflage vehicle checking roadside traps that did not appear to have the proper identification. She followed up on the call and found two traps without identification in the described location.

Teague’s Facebook page featured a picture of him with one of the traps in the same location. The photo showed a raccoon in the trap with the caption: “Caught and released this morning … can’t eat everything. Lots of laughs. Just wait till trapping season, though, other than skunk.”

Kuske spoke with Teague on the phone and told him that she had his traps. He denied that he was missing any traps but agreed to meet with her at a gas station. Kuske testified that when she asked Teague why he would not admit that they were his traps, he replied, “I can’t admit that these are my traps because I will get revoked if I do.”

Teague’s girlfriend was also cited for the trapping incident and she paid the fine. Teague was sentenced in 2013 in Crow Wing District Court for taking a furbearer by an illegal method, a misdemeanor.

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