Oregon Hires Special Prosecutor to Tackle Poachers Across the State

by Victoria Santiago
(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

To help stop wildlife crimes, Oregon has just hired its first-ever special prosecutor that will focus on poaching cases. Jay D. Hall was brought on last month as the new Assistant Attorney General with the OR Department of Justice. Hall will focus on helping the state find, investigate, and sentence poachers, according to a press release from the ODFW.

Before joining the ODOJ, Hall spent 12 years working as a prosecutor in the DA’s office. Due to that, he has become somewhat of an expert in the state’s racketeering laws. In fact, he was even awarded the state’s Prosecutor of the Year Award after he brought down an organized poaching ring that had illegally killed 300 elk and deer.

Hall will be working closely with the OSP Wildlife Division and the OR Department of Fish and Wildlife to build strong court cases against poachers. He will advise them in collecting evidence, case processing, and penalty options.

Oregon Has A New Anti Poaching Plan

This new position has been a long time coming, according to officials. In 2019, lawmakers in the state approved an updated anti-poaching strategy. Officials are pleased with this new plan. Now that Hall has been hired, the work can really begin. This new strategy has a three-pronged approach for stopping poachers. This comprehensive approach will benefit everyone in the state.

The first prong is focused on detection. Officials working within this area educate the public on poaching so that they can recognize and report the illegal practice.

The second prong is enforcement. OSP brought on an extra four fish and wildlife troopers in 2019. They also added another sergeant. As a result, these new hires brought the game agency’s total law enforcement in the field to 128 officers.

New Plan Included Hiring Special Prosecutor

The third prong is where Jay D. Hall comes in. The final aspect of this new strategy involves sentencing poachers. The state wanted to increase prosecution of wildlife crimes. Thus, a new job position opened up with the state.

However, Outdoor Life says that the position was put on hold for a while due to COVID. That’s why there were a few years between the start of this new strategy and Hall’s hiring. That gave him time to wrap up a few cases at his old job in Lane County. Now, he’s ready to lead this anti-poaching plan.

In addition to working directly with law enforcement, Hall will also help the DA’s office in all 36 counties. This will be majorly helpful, according to officials. There are many nuances that come with trying fish and wildlife cases, and Hall is an expert on the matter. Having his help spread throughout the state will lead to more cases getting tried.