The first four of eleven defendants named in an Adams County wildlife poaching conspiracy case have recently been found guilty or pleaded guilty to charges against them.
Tyler Dutton (23) of Caldwell was convicted by a jury of his peers in July and sentenced in August. Misdemeanor charges against Dutton included hunting while revoked, closed season take of a big game animal, illegal possession of a big game animal, wasteful destruction of a big game animal, and using another person’s big game tag.
On August 17, Dutton stood before Magistrate Judge John Meienhofer to receive his sentence. In addition to more than $3,300 in fines and court costs, Dutton lost his hunting and fishing privileges for ten years, and may not accompany others engaged in hunting and fishing activities for the same ten-year period. A probationary period of ten years and 30 days in jail were additional punishments imposed by the Judge. Immediately following sentencing, Dutton was removed from the courtroom to serve four days in the Adams County jail. The remaining 26 days of jail time will be served beginning October 1.
A second defendant, Miranda Clausen (25) of Caldwell, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts, one of wasteful destruction of a big game animal and a second of using another person’s big game tag. On September 7, she was sentenced to 20 hours of community service in lieu of jail time, and must pay $1,645 in fines, restitution and court costs. Clausen lost her hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for six years, and will remain on probation for the next four years.
Two of the seven felony defendants have accepted misdemeanor plea agreements. Roger Brutsman (48) of Wilder pleaded guilty to the unlawful taking of a 2x2 bull elk. Sentenced in May, Brutsman must pay $1,465 in fines, restitution and court costs and will be on probation for the next two years. He also received a two-year hunting revocation, during which he may not accompany others engaged in hunting activities.
A second felony defendant, Adam Norris (28) of Nampa pleaded guilty to the unlawful take of a 4x4 bull elk and was sentenced in July to 90 hours of community service in lieu of jail time, and must pay $1,445 in fines, restitution and court costs. In addition to a five-year hunting and trapping revocation, Norris will spend the next two years on probation and may not accompany others engaged in hunting or trapping activities for this same period.
The investigation began in the fall of 2015 when Fish and Game officers discovered the remains of a bull elk killed before the legal hunting season opened in unit 22 west of McCall. By the time the investigation concluded, officers had discovered at least four more illegally-taken bull elk and at least one mule deer.
In August 2017, five case defendants – Shannan Norris (45), Casey Dutton (23), Bob Norris (69), Trey Painter (23) and Chad Painter 44, all from Caldwell – were arraigned on a total of 20 felony counts involving conspiracy to unlawfully possess big game animals. Each felony charge carries potential prison time of up to five years and/or fines up to $50,000. A lifetime hunting, fishing and trapping revocation may also be included in felony sentencing at the judge’s discretion.
Additional sentencing details will be made available as the case progresses.