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Ohio Poachers

Old 02-25-2008, 02:28 AM
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Default Ohio Poachers

h LORAIN -- The Ohio Depgartment of Natural Resources busted a deer poaching ring yesterday that one investigator called the worst he had seen.





[/align] The ring operated out of Lorain County and killed multiple deer, mostly for bragging rights, according to the ODNR.

Two undercover ODNR investigators joined the poachers in the fall of 2007 after several tips were called into the ''Turn In a Poacher'' hotline. The investigation dubbed ''Operation Overkill'' revealed nine individuals from Lorain County had frequented areas in Coshocton and Knox counties and killed 32 deer over two months, said Reno ''Jay'' Reda, state wildlife officer.

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[/align] According to state law, one antler deer per hunter per season is allowed. Hunters are required to tag the deer with their name, address and time of kill and be taken to a deer check point. None of those requirements were met by these individuals, Reda said.

The men killed the deer by shooting them from their cars, which is illegal, after spotting the animals while driving around rural areas, he said. Two deer were reportedly killed in Lorain County, one of which was only 200 feet from a local police department, Reda said. The accused used a variety of vehicles from pickup trucks to sedans.

''This was the epitome of poaching,'' Reda said. ''It's unsafe and a hazard. They were shooting into private property.''

Sixty wildlife officers, clad in army green uniforms, met in Elyria yesterday morning to carry out the arrests. Dozens of green F150 pickup trucks adorned with the ODNR crest filed out one-by-one and spread across the county around 9 a.m. Local police chiefs were notified prior to the raids.

The following individuals were arrested after their homes were raided:

-- George Saltis Sr., 66, 3851 Lexington Ave., Lorain

-- George Saltis Jr., 40, 1935 E. 42nd St., Lorain

-- David Saltis, 29, 4332 Laurel Road, Lorain

-- Jeffrey A. Saltis, 18, Elyria

-- James E. Strehle, 67, 361 Parkview Ave., Sheffield Lake

-- Michael C. Lowe, 52, 1354 Brownell Ave., Lorain

-- Thomas Saltis, 32, 2363 Homewood Drive, Lorain

-- Joaquinn Segarra, 39, 1953 E. 32nd St., Lorain

Johnny Saltis, 37, of Lorain, was also arrested later in the day. A search warrant was also executed at a Vermilion home, and although no arrests were made yesterday, the investigation is ongoing and more are expected.

Reda said George Saltis Sr. was the patriarch of the organization. The bulk of the deer meat was stored at his residence in freezers on the front porch of his house, he said.

His son, George Saltis Jr., 40, as well as other relatives and friends of the family were part of the organization, according to Reda. Through conversations during the investigation, the Saltises admitted to killing deer in this manner for ''many, many years,'' Reda said. They killed deer of varied sizes during the investigation.

''They were doing this for the meat and antlers,'' he said. ''The meat for personal consumption and turning it into smoke products to be sold locally.''

It has not been determined how much money the group made off the meat.

In George Saltis Jr.'s East 42nd Street home alone, officers recovered six mounted deer heads, a box of antlers, hunting rifles, a deer carcass and a mounted hawk.

''That deer was still fresh,'' Reda said. ''Hunting season ended Feb. 3.''

While investigators discovered the group was having some of the meat processed for sale, investigators said the killings were more for bragging rights than profit.

As neighbors of George Saltis Jr. watched ODNR officials remove the deer evidence from the home, shock was expressed.

''I think it's sickening,'' said Tracy Chiorazzi. ''I don't understand why they'd be so cruel.''

Neighbor Irene Campbell said she saw the deer heads in the house when she would go out for a walk, and once saw seven men dragging a deer carcass onto the property in the early morning hours.

''But we don't know when deer hunting season is,'' said another neighbor Terri Diaz, who said she saw them bring two deer to the house around 10 a.m. one day.

''There was a lot of traffic there,'' she said.

Officers seized everything from deer carcasses and antlers to freezers and cars. Eight individuals face a variety of felony and misdemeanor charges. Charges against Jeffrey A. Saltis are still to be determined. Among the charges are hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, shooting across a roadway, possession of an untagged deer, providing false information at a check station and shooting a deer from the road.

Collectively, the group faces nearly 200 charges, Reda said. Many of the individuals arrested had criminal records already.

''They were totally dedicated to what they were doing,'' he said. ''This would rank in the top worst in my career. And I've been doing this for almost 25 years.''

If convicted, the suspects face fines, jail time and forfeiture of hunting privileges. Violators could also be required to pay restitution of $400 per deer.
(http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?d...ewsid=19275474)

This happened a few weeks ago not to far from where i live. In the paper you could see a line of about 7-8 ODNR officers carrying out rack after rack, it absolutely disgusted me. I want to hit these people many times with the butt of my gun.[:'(][:@]
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:52 AM
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I live in Ohio,and I hope they get the max penalities possible. i hate this type of stupidity!
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:02 AM
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Default RE: Ohio Poachers

I would have thought the restitution would have been more than $400 per deer. At least they caught them, but no tellin how long they have been doing this.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:11 AM
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Default RE: Ohio Poachers

Unfortunatly, Somewhere they will be tagged as hunters instead of poachers.

I'm glad they were caught. It gives hunting a black eye for sure.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:56 AM
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Default RE: Ohio Poachers

Good they're caught,unfortunetly the punishment doesn't fit the crime.Now they will be harder to catch next time.[:@]
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:58 AM
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Lock em up and throw away the keys
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:56 AM
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what a bunch of ldsf;jgorpejgopi5jglanlgjkfadng
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:45 PM
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Default RE: Ohio Poachers

what did they do? that was like trying to read a book? shooting from a vehicle?

across a roadway, bad thing for sure!

I dont incourage shooting from a car, but in most western states you can shoot off the hood of your truck, I'm just curious what the actual poaching chargest were etc....? I'll try to re read and update,

I think discretion needs to be used in any case, if a guy poaches a deer to feed his family, I certainly would hope the penalties would be less than the guys just sshooting animals an dleaving em dead in a field. or guys poaching record records etc...

Also if theyre already felons...cant own firearms etc....certainly a fine and taking away their hunting license for a year isn't the solution. I think we need the correct penalities, fines etc...accordingly.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:58 PM
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Default RE: Ohio Poachers

It states that in Ohio you are allowed ONE deer per hunter per season. In this case 9 people killed 32 deer in a two month period while being investigated. No telling how many they killed total when they were not being watched. And they admited to doing this for several years. Along with shooting them out of season and selling the meat, which is also illegal.

And even though it wasn't mentioned I don't doubt for a minute that they were not using high powered rifles which are illegal in Ohio as well. Shotgun only in that state.

Paul
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:44 PM
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Default RE: Ohio Poachers

What makes me sick, is you can legally hunt deer up until February 3rd in Ohio, and I can't.[:'(] That Saltis family sounds as though they weren't tought the correct way. They all should be banished from the activity for life, after 3 years in the pokey.
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