January 24, 2014

From TheNewsTribune.com

Washington State Fish and Wildlife officials are looking for the antlers of a trophy bull elk illegally shot after hunters trespassed on the closed Hanford nuclear reservation.

Three Tri-City men have been sentenced in a poaching case that involved two elk shot on Hanford land closed to the public and another killed nearby on the bank of the Columbia River, where hunting is not allowed.

Daniel Charboneau, 29, of Pasco, was charged with shooting the largest of the animals, said Sgt. Brian Fulton with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“It was a huge elk,” Fulton said. “He went out and killed a trophy elk in a place no one can legally hunt.”

The men took boat trips up the Columbia River and entered the nuclear reservation near the former Hanford townsite, Fulton said. The river along the nuclear reservation is marked with numerous “No Trespassing” signs and guns are not allowed on the site.

Also sentenced in the case were Brock Miller, 27, of Richland, who was charged with shooting two smaller trophy elk, and Miguel Berry, 26, of Richland, who purchased an elk license and tag for one of the animals after it had been shot.

Miller pleaded guilty to charges of unlawfully hunting while trespassing, hunting without tags and using a tag belonging to another person. Six other charges were dropped.

He was sentenced in October 2013 to 90 days in jail for hunting while trespassing and 364 days each for the two other charges. However, all three jail sentences were suspended if he stays out of trouble for two years. His hunting license is suspended during that time, and he must pay a mandatory state criminal wildlife penalty of $6,000.

Berry pleaded guilty to allowing another hunter to use his tag and was sentenced last month to 364 days in jail, which also was suspended for two years. His hunting license will be suspended during that time. Two other charges were dropped.

Charboneau pleaded guilty to hunting big game without a tag and three other charges were dismissed. He was sentenced last month to 364 days in jail, which was suspended for two years. Fulton said Charboneau also will be required to pay the $6,000 criminal wildlife penalty.


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