BOLIVAR – The Pennsylvania Game Commission has filed charges against two Johnstown area residents as a result of a deer poaching spree that occurred over the past several months in the Richland, Sidman, and New Germany areas of Cambria County. State Game Warden (SGW) Seth Mesoras filed multiple charges against Luke R. Plummer, 18, Summerhill, and Jacob Lewis, also 18, Johnstown, Pa.

After State Game Wardens became aware of the poaching they immediately started investigating the case, attempting to catch the individuals responsible. But it wasn’t until recently that several crucial tips were provided by different informants that the necessary information and evidence were gained in order to charge the defendants. “It was timely information provided by concerned local citizens that led to the apprehension of the defendants,” stated SGW Mesoras.

SGW Mesoras has filed charges with Magisterial District Judge Rick Varner’s office in Sidman, Pa. The criminal complaint against Plummer contains the following charges:

1. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – three counts, felony third degree.
2. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – two counts, misdemeanor first degree.
3. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – two counts, misdemeanor ungraded.
4. Unlawful use of lights while hunting – seven counts, summary fifth degree.
5. Loaded firearms in vehicles - four counts, summary fourth degree.
6. Retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game or wildlife – three counts, summary fourth degree.
7. Littering and restrictions on vehicles – two counts, summary third degree.

The criminal complaint against Lewis contains the following charges:

1. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – six counts, felony third degree.
2. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – two counts, misdemeanor first degree.
3. Unlawful killing or taking of big game – two counts, misdemeanor ungraded.
4. Unlawful use of lights while hunting – ten counts, summary fifth degree.
5. Loaded firearms in vehicles – four counts, summary fourth degree.
6. Retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game or wildlife – four counts, summary fourth degree.
7. Littering and restrictions on vehicles – three counts, summary third degree.

SGW Seth Mesoras stated, “Although it is satisfying knowing the hard work paid off in this particular case there are still other areas in Cambria County where poaching has occurred and individuals were not apprehended. We greatly appreciate the public’s assistance in providing information regarding these wildlife crimes.”

If you witness a wildlife crime against big game (deer, bear turkey or elk) or a species that is protected, endangered or threatened; call Operation Game Thief’s toll-free hotline at 1-888-PGC-8001 or fill out an “Operation Game Thief Reporting Form” online at the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website: www.pgc.pa.gov. Violations can be reported 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Calls to the Operation Game Thief hotline are answered by a secure recording device. You can remain anonymous, however it is beneficial to provide your contact information so an officer can ask follow-up questions. Callers can still remain confidential, however, those who wish to claim any monetary reward must provide contact information. Other violations should be reported to the regional office serving the county in which the violation is taking place as soon as possible.

For more information on Operation Game Thief or other Pennsylvania Game Commission related information please visit us at the following:

Website: www.pgc.pa.gov
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PAGameComm
YouTube: www.youtube.com/pagamecommission
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaGameCommission

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