Three Charged in ‘One of the Worst’ Elk Poaching Cases in Michigan

by Will Shepard
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Three people in Michigan are being charged with poaching elk. State conservation officers took over a year to investigate the case. As per the Detroit News, a case supervisor described the elk poaching incident as “one of the worst elk poaching incidents.”

All three people arrested are related. The three people are Christian White, Harry White, Ronald White. Each of them pleads not guilty to eight wildlife crimes. This comes after admitting to poaching three cow elk in Pigeon River Country in December 2019.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers finally got anonymous tips that lead to the arrests. After more than a year, the officers were able to link the elk poaching cases. The three elk were killed just 50 yards north of Hardwood Lake Road.

Sargeant Mark DePew was the supervisor on the elk poaching case. He talks about the year-long pursuit of the criminals, as well as how the suspects got away with it for so long. More importantly, he talks about the comradery of the team bring the three men into custody.

“This case can be summed up with one word – diligence. Without our officers’ professional commitment to the pursuit of the facts, these suspects would have gotten away with one of the worst elk poaching incidents I have ever seen. By utilizing teamwork, technology, and good old-fashioned police work, this case could not have come to a better conclusion.”

Finally Catching the Elk Poaching Criminals

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says that it ended simply. After a long while, the Whites confessed to the elk poaching.

The Detroit News says that Christian White is being arraigned on four charges. Those charges include hunting deer without a license, taking over the limit on elk, as well as failing to retrieve the elk, and taking elk in the wrong hunting unit.

Harry White is being charged on three counts of elk poaches also. His charges are taking an over-limit elk, failing to retrieve an elk, and harvesting an elk in the wrong unit.

Finally, Ronald White is being charged with one elk poaching charge for taking an over-limit elk. All three Whites are heading to their court date on February 11.

If they are guilty of the charges, they will serve a minimum of thirty days in prison. The sentence might also bring 180 days in prison. The misdemeanor also includes a $5,000 fine and a loss of hunting privileges for 15 years.

However, the DNR is not done investigating poaching. The conservation officers are investigating two incidences now, one in Otsego County, and one in Montgomery County.

Outsider.com