PEORIA, IL – Five men have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to alleged illegal waterfowl hunting in Fulton County, Illinois in 2015, following an investigation conducted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In early 2015, IDNR Conservation Police Officers received information regarding alleged illegal hunting and guiding activities being conducted by Rick Hamm of Chillicothe, Illinois, doing business as “Show Me Your Snows” waterfowl guide service. Conservation Police Officers and Special Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a joint investigation into the allegations.
A federal grand jury returned indictments on Hamm and four others on April 17, 2018 alleging they violated federal waterfowl hunting laws while leading a guided waterfowl hunt southwest of Havana, Illinois during the regular waterfowl season in December 2015.
The five defendants are:
Rick Hamm, Chillicothe, IL,
Zachary Entwistle, Morris, IL,
Trent Gustafson, Chillicothe, IL,
James Schupp, Wyoming, IL, and
J. Weston Schupp of Bradford, IL
The five-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy and violating the Lacey Act, both felonies, which, if convicted, are punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. The charges also include directing the placement of bait, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $15,000 fine (Hamm only); hunting over bait and use of an electronic caller during the regular waterfowl season, both misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in prison and fines of up to $15,000.
The five defendants will be arraigned in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Peoria on May 3, 2018.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.