FIVE-YEAR INVESTIGATION NETS 22 PEOPLE WITH 117 VIOLATIONS OF GAME AND WILDLIFE CODE

Excessive infractions required lengthy investigation



HUNTINGDON -- On March 2, Matthew Ronald Baker, 40, a Huntingdon County deer processor, was found guilty before District Judge Richard Wilt of eight counts of illegal possession of deer and ordered to pay fines of $6,400 plus costs.



Those charges against Baker were discovered when Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife officers conducted a deer biology data inspection of his Hopewell Township business on Nov. 29, and were not part of a larger ongoing investigation that recently was concluded. Due to missing carcass tags, several deer stored at the butcher shop appeared to have questionable ownership. At the hearing, Game Commission plainclothes investigators revealed that Baker had later approached them to provide tags for the above-mentioned deer found on his property.



In December of 2000, information received by the Game Commission regarding possible illegal activities prompted an investigation by the agency's Special Investigations Division into Baker's meat processing business.



"It was not the intent of our Special Investigations Division to become involved in a multi-year surveillance on this suspect," said Greg Houghton, Assistant Director of the Bureau of Law Enforcement for the Game Commission. "However, once the inquiry began, the excessive and continuous violations at his business involving Baker and his acquaintances quickly expanded into other areas and at least one other business. This required the investigation to last as long as it did."



Due to the lengthy amount of time it took to properly complete their investigation, Game Commission officers witnessed vast numbers of instances of illegal taking of various species of wildlife plus other major infractions.



The large-scale violations included deer and protected birds, as well as infractions of the state Fish and Boat Code. On March 17, District Wildlife Conservation Officer Richard Danley Jr. filed before District Judge Wilt an additional 117 citations on Baker and others implicated in violations during the investigation. Those charged were:



Adam F. Baker; 38, of James Creek, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of tagging and reporting big game kills.



Matthew Ronald Baker; 40, of James Creek, PA; 11 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 5 counts of loaded firearms in vehicles; 4 counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting; 3 counts of buying and selling game; 3 counts of report to commission officer; 2 counts of tagging and reporting big game kills; 2 counts of Title 30 Rules and regulations; 1 count of unlawful devices and methods.



Matthew R. Baker II; 18, of James Creek, PA; 2 counts of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of report to a commission officer; 1 count of unlawful sale of protected birds and plumage.



Unnamed Youth; 16, of James Creek, PA; 5 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of tagging and reporting big game kills.



Paul W. Brinton, Jr; 58 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.



Randy L. Brode; 34 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.



Wilford A. Collins; 54 of Huntingdon, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of tagging and reporting big game kills.



Waylon David Corbin; 18 of Robertsdale, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of unlawful taking and possession of protected birds.



Harold R. Cunningham; 62 of Newry, PA; 1 count of loaded firearms in vehicles.



John J. Miller; 54 of James Creek, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of tagging and reporting big game kills.



John Kevin Miller; 25 of James Creek, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of tagging and reporting big game kills; 1 count of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of shooting on or across highways; 1 count of unlawful devices and methods.



Russell Miller; 61 of James Creek, PA; 2 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of tagging and reporting big game kills.



William J. Myers II; 34 of Robertsdale, PA; 1 count of buying and selling game.



Bradley William Sheeder; 37 of James Creek, PA; 2 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of tagging and reporting big game kills; 1 count of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of loaded firearms in vehicles.



Unnamed Youth; 17 of James Creek, PA; 3 counts of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 2 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of tagging and reporting big game kills.



Carl Starner; 58 of Blain, PA; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 2 counts of tagging and reporting big game kills; 1 count of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of retrieval and disposition of killed or wounded game or wildlife.



Richard Alan Steele; 55 of Saxton, PA; 2 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.



Mark B. Taylor; 37 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of unlawful acts concerning licenses; 1 count of shooting on or across highways.



Robert D. Troy; 34 of Saxton, PA; 2 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.



Matthew Jordan Wilkins; 18 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.



Robert W. Wilkins Jr.; 49 of Saxton, PA; 1 count of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife.



Timothy Glen Zdrosky II; 28 of Dudley, PA; 4 counts of unlawful use of lights while hunting; 4 counts of Title 30 Possession and display of licenses; 3 counts of unlawful taking or possession of game or wildlife; 1 count of tagging and reporting big game kills.