JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Earlier this month, local residents plead guilty and paid fines following an incident that occurred in December of 2020.
According to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police, on December 5, 2020, officers were called by a Jefferson County resident who reported a spotlight in a field nearby, gunshots and sounds of a vehicle engine.
Environmental Conservation Officer Jackson responded to the scene and located a dead buck in the field. ECO Jackson then remained in the field, expecting the shooter to return to recover the animal, and eventually called DEC Lieutenant Bartoszewski to help canvass the area.
The DEC reported that Lt. Bartoszewski located a dead doe in the area, and later heard a gunshot nearby. The two officers then determined where the shot originated and located an older model Dodge minivan with three subjects inside.
Officers confirmed that the subjects had two spotlights, two rifles and a shotgun. Additionally, a blue tarp in the rear of the van had dried blood and deer hair on it.
All three subjects admitted to shooting a deer in the area, but the DEC reported that they would not admit to killing the dead buck or doe found nearby.
The three men were arrested and arraigned on multiple charges which included taking deer with the aid of a spotlight, possession of a loaded gun in a motor vehicle and discharging a firearm from a public highway.
The subjects later appeared in the Town of Ellisburg Court on June 2, where they plead guilty and agreed to a civil penalty of $1,000.