Deer Poaching Charges Filed

The Morton County state’s attorney’s office has filed criminal complaints against four men who were identified in two separate incidents of unlawful possession of deer in North Dakota in November and December, 2016.

Both incidents took place in southeastern Morton County, either in or near the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp that was located near the mouth of the Cannonball River.

In the first incident, Sean Carney of Center Conway, New Hampshire, and Danny LeClaire of Pocatello, Idaho, are charged with unlawful possession of big game. Warrants for their arrest were issued and they are not believed to be in North Dakota at this time.

Carney and LeClaire were identified in a photo, skinning a deer for which they allegedly did not have a license to possess.

In the second incident, William Larkin of Olean, New York and William Bighorse of Freeville, New York are charged with unlawful possession of big game for their alleged participation in dragging a whitetail buck from the Cannonball River in November and killing it by stabbing it with a knife and then suffocating it in the mud.

Authorities are still trying to identify other suspects from a video of this incident, which was released to the public on Jan. 5, 2017.

Arrest warrants for Larkin and Bighorse were issued and they are also believed to be out of state.

Unlawful possession of big game is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment, a fine of $3,000, or both.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department Chief Warden Robert Timian said public response to the photo and video the agency released was very helpful, and was directly related to identifying the suspects and gathering evidence to support the charges.