For more information contact:
Greg Huljack at 609-292-9430
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife today released the results of an 18-month undercover operation in Passaic and Morris Counties. As a result of the intensive investigation, 27 individuals were charged with 174 wildlife violations and if convicted, could collectively face up to $20,000 in fines and restitution.
"This type of illegal activity will NOT be tolerated," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "These criminals are stealing wildlife from all New Jerseyans and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
A team of 14 conservation officers assisted by Kinnelon, Jefferson Township and West Milford police departments served two search warrants and seized parts of at least eight deer. In addition to the possession of illegal deer parts, charges include the illegal shooting of hawks, possession of untagged deer, shooting from a motor vehicle, and numerous waterfowl and wild turkey violations.
The investigation will continue across state boundaries with additional charges expected to follow.
Individuals are encouraged to report all wildlife violations by calling the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife and State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs toll-free Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-222-0456. Anonymity is guaranteed and rewards are available.