Salt Lake County –
The main suspect in one of the largest poaching investigations in recent memory has been sentenced. Jarod Birrell and others are believed to have poached numerous buck deer, many of them trophies, throughout Utah in the winter months of 2010.
Originally charged with a misdemeanor and six felony counts of Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife, in February, Birrell entered into a plea agreement which will suspend his hunting privileges for 45 years. Birrell was also ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution to the Division of Wildlife’s Help Stop Poaching Fund. He was placed on probation for a period of 5 years and ordered to serve 150 hours of community service. Combined, the six defendants charged in the case have had their hunting privileges suspended for almost 100 years and have been ordered to pay more than $55,000 in fines and restitution.
“This is one of the most egregious poaching cases we’ve investigated”, says DWR Conservation Officer Chris Schulze. “We’re pleased with this outcome and are appreciative that someone stepped forward and provided us with information about these crimes. We rely upon the public to be our eyes and ears in the field .”
Chief Tony Wood adds, ” Our officers and investigators devoted countless hours to bringing this case to a successful conclusion. I commend them for their hard work and thank them for a job well done.”
Many of the most significant cases successfully investigated by DWR conservation officers begin with a tip from a citizen. If you are aware of a wildlife crime, please contact your local conservation officer or the UTiP Hotline at 800-662-3337. Rewards are available and requests for confidentiality are honored.