California Game Warden Catches Felon Red-Handed by Watching YouTube Hunting Videos

by Lauren Boisvert

Officers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife previously caught a convicted felon violating his probation. The how of it all? They were watching hunting videos on YouTube. According to a report from Outdoor Life, the officers spotted the man in a few hunting videos carrying a gun. This is a direct violation of his probation.

Fresno, California resident Sign Lee was previously convicted of domestic battery and possessing a firearm while on probation. Officers recognized him in a now-deleted hunting video where he was carrying a bolt-action rifle. The CDFW officers also found social media posts of Lee with two bucks and a rifle on the ground between them.

After Lee was identified in the videos, CDFW, Fresno County Probation, and a Fresno County Adult Compliance Team went to Lee’s home. There, they found the same bolt-action rifle from the video, as well as a short-barreled AR-15 with no serial number. AR-15s are outlawed in California already. But, getting rid of the make, model, and serial number ensures that the firearm can’t be traced. Officials also found pounds of ammunition and shotgun shells.

Felon Gets Caught With Rifle While On Probation, Officers Catch Him By Watching YouTube Hunting Videos

Lee was arrested and pleaded no contest to the charges. Those included possession of a firearm while on probation, possession of an assault-style weapon, “unlawful transfer of a deer tag,” and “unlawful possession of deer,” according to Outdoor Life. Pleading no contest means that he will not contest the charges. This gives the court permission to treat him as if he is guilty for the sake of the sentence. No contest also waives the right to a trial.

On May 3, Lee was sentenced to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 16 months. The rifles and ammunition were all seized, as well as the deer mount Lee had in his home. When he was arrested, he also admitted that he transferred his deer tags to someone who didn’t have any, which is also illegal.

The California Department of Justice states that it is illegal for anyone previously convicted of a felony or anyone with an outstanding warrant for a felony to own or possess firearms of any kind.

Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting Deer from Car to ‘Let Off Frustration’

A man in Michigan recently pleaded guilty to “driving around at night, listening to music and occasionally shooting his pistol into vacant fields from his pickup truck,” according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Edward Trout of Cedar Springs, Michigan, was arrested and charged with “hunting out of season, two counts of hunting without a license, taking game from a vehicle, and fishing with illegal devices,” as Outsider reported in July. In addition to poaching deer from his truck, he also used a homemade spear to hunt snapping turtles.

Trout denied all allegations until there was textual evidence to back up the claims. Specifically, the police showed him text messages where he bragged to friends about shooting the deer. Then he admitted to the crime of illegally killing five deer and was arrested.