A four-month investigation into illegal hunting practices culminated in the arrest of three Sussex County residents last month, DNREC officials announced Friday.
Laurel residents Kyle Trice, 18, and John Adkins, 20, along with Delmar resident Cody L. Pistoria, 20, were arrested at their respective homes by agents with DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement on Feb. 24.
Division spokesman Sgt. Gregory Rhodes said his agency identified the threesome after receiving reports from concerned residents and other hunters of illegal activity occurring near Redden State Forest north of Georgetown and off Route 24 outside of Laurel, starting in October.
“Hunters really don’t like it when they find out people are committing environmental crimes,” he said. “They comply with the law, so when they find out someone is cheating, we usually get some phone calls.”
Trice is facing 30 charges, including five counts each of hunting from a motor vehicle, hunting at night, possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, shooting near a roadway, hunting deer during a closed season and third-degree conspiracy.
He is free on a $15,000 unsecured bond, pending trial.
Adkins is facing 18 charges, including five counts of hunting at night, five counts of hunting deer during a closed season, five counts of third-degree conspiracy and one count each of failure to tag an antlerless deer, failure to register an antlerless deer and butchering an antlerless deer prior to registration.
He is free on a $9,000 unsecured bond, pending trial.
Pistoria was charged with hunting at night and third-degree conspiracy. Rhodes said Pitoria pleaded guilty to hunting at night as was ordered to pay $534 in fines and court costs.