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July 13, 2011

Creative (and wise?) Oregon state sentences for poachers

A favorite reader altered me to this interesting Oregon sentencing story headlined "Poachers will spend deer seasons in jail: A Springfield father and son are both barred from hunting for life." Here are the details:

In the words of a prosecutor, hunting season will now be jail season for a Springfield father and son who pleaded guilty Tuesday to more than 130 poaching-related charges.

Rory Donoho, 60, and Shane Donoho, 37, received the unusual sentence for leading what is purportedly Oregon’s largest illegal hunting scheme, wiping out the deer population in a portion of the McKenzie Wildlife Management District near Vida.

Instead of presumptive prison terms of three years and 6½ years, respectively, for their racketeering, identity theft and poaching convictions, the Donohos must report to the Lane County Jail for a 90-day sentence on Oct. 1, the first day of deer season, in each of the next four years.

Prosecutor Jay Hall struck the plea deal with attorneys for the two men. Lane County Circuit Judge Charles Carlson also stripped both men of their hunting privileges for life and placed them on five years of supervised probation.

He ordered Rory Donoho, convicted on 57 counts, to pay $20,000 in restitution to the state. He ordered Shane Donoho, convicted of 82 counts, to pay $42,000 in restitution to the state and to perform 400 hours of community service — including speaking to hunting groups and Boy Scout troops about his crimes. He also ordered him to undergo counseling for a hunting “addiction” as directed by his probation officer.

Hall said Shane Donoho admitted to killing more than 300 deer in the past five years. In most cases, Oregon hunters are limited to bagging one deer per season. Hall said the father and son obtained other people’s tags so they could appear legitimate if a game official caught them with one of their poached animals. The prosecutor called the family’s illegal hunting a generational pattern....

Boyd said Shane and Rory Donoho cooperated with authorities once they learned they were under investigation. Shane Donoho’s attorney, John Haapala, called his client “forthcoming in all regards,” and noted that he had no prior criminal convictions. He also stressed that the Donohos never made any attempt to sell the poached meat. Rather, they intended to eat it or share it with friends, he said.

Rory Donoho’s attorney, Brian Cox, noted that his client also had no previous convictions. “This case also showcases flaws in the system, because you don’t have to show any ID (when buying a tag) proving you are who you say you are,” he said. “This is a huge loophole in the law that screams for a fix.”

The Donohos also forfeited to the government 19 rifles, 1,600 pounds of processed and frozen game meat, and 106 pairs of trophy antlers valued at between $180,000 and $400,000. Boyd said the meat is not certified for human consumption because it wasn’t inspected, but that he intends to provide it to zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centers for feeding to carnivores there.

July 13, 2011 at 05:06 PM | Permalink

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Posted by: stephanie | Sep 21, 2011 1:07:59 PM

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