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Jefferson County Man Sentenced in Colorado Elk Poaching Case

A Brownville man has been found guilty of a series of charges relating to an elk he shot on a 2015 Colorado hunting trip, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

The charges followed an investigation initiated at the request of wildlife officers from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Colorado officers developed probable cause to believe Alfred W. Carr, a Jefferson County resident, had unlawfully taken a bull elk during the 2015 Colorado muzzleloading season and returned with the elk to New York State.

“While our Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) are restricted by state boundaries, game poachers know no such restrictions and often travel to other states to commit their crimes against wildlife,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.”This is another example of the cooperative effort needed between states to bring game violators to justice, and I commend the work of the Colorado wildlife officers and New York’s ECOs.”

The investigation began during the fall of 2015, when Colorado wildlife officers received information that Carr had killed a large bull elk despite having an antlerless only license. Armed with this information, which included photographs of Carr loading a bull elk onto his ATV in Colorado, investigators with DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI) unit interviewed Carr, a convicted felon, and obtained admissions regarding the circumstances of Carr’s Colorado hunting trip.

On April 19 2016, investigators Mark Malone and Lt. James Boylan seized the antlers of the illegally taken animal, the remaining elk meat, and the muzzleloader allegedly used during the Colorado hunt. Carr was arrested and charged with Unlawful Importation of Elk Parts from a Chronic Wasting Disease State and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th Degree.

Carr subsequently entered guilty pleas in Town of Brownville Court to Disorderly Conduct and Unlawful Importation of Elk Parts from a Chronic Wasting Disease State.

On Feb. 24, Carr entered guilty pleas in Gunnison County Court in Colorado to hunting without a proper and valid license and illegally taking a bull elk, resulting in $3,081 in fines and 30 points against his Colorado hunting privileges. Carr now faces suspension of his hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and New York; both states are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

“This case came together because of the courage and cooperation of a key witness in Colorado and because of the persistence and dedication of DEC investigators,” said Colorado Wildlife Officer Brandon Diamond.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is an untreatable and fatal brain and nervous system disease found in deer, elk, and moose. The disease was first detected in New York State in five white-tailed deer from two Oneida County captive breeding facilities in 2005. DEC imposed restrictions on importing specific parts of deer, elk, and moose taken from outside of New York, which helped to eradicate the disease from New York’s wild deer herd. While no additional cases have been documented, bringing hunter-killed deer, elk, or moose carcasses into New York from CWD-positive states is illegal and increases the risk of spreading this fatal disease.

Anyone who observes a violation of Environmental Conservation Law is encouraged to call 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267), or report online on DEC’s website.