Poaching ring busted, charged with conspiracy: 35 felony counts

Poaching ring busted, charged with conspiracy
Posted at 8:45 AM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-07 19:52:42-04

A total of 35 felony wildlife charges involving conspiracy to unlawfully possess big game animals have been filed against seven people for their roles in a 2015 Adams County poaching case, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. 3 people were arrested and released this week from the Canyon County jail.  

The charges come in an ongoing investigation by Idaho Fish and Game in collaboration with the Adams County Prosecutor’s office.

Four others face misdemeanor wildlife charges for their roles in the case, an IDFG news release said.

Idaho Fish and Game says because the group acted in a "conspiracy", the 35 felony charges are broken down as follows:  There were 4 bull elk reportedly poached, and one mule deer. Because the alleged perpetrators acted in a coordinated effort to illegally take big game, each of the 7 people are charged with all five poaching incidents, making a total of 35 charges among the 7 accused poachers. 

“The investigation began in the fall of 2015, when Fish and Game officers discovered the remains of a bull elk killed before the legal hunting season opened in an area known as Unit 22, west of McCall. By the time the investigation concluded, officers had discovered at least four more illegally-taken bull elk and at least one mule deer,” said Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Evin Oneale.  The remains found in the woods were matched to animal parts in possession of the suspects.

On October 4, 2016, the case culminated in the arrest of Shannan Norris, 44, of Caldwell; Adam Norris, 27, of Nampa and Casey Dutton, 22, also of Caldwell. The three were booked into the Canyon County Jail on numerous felony charges.  They have since been released. No court date has been set according to Idaho Fish and Game. 

Other named defendants facing felony charges include Bob Norris, 69, of Caldwell; Trey Painter, 22, of Caldwell; Chad Painter, 43, of Caldwell; and Roger Brutsman, 47, of Wilder.

Each felony charge carries potential prison time of up to five years and/or fines up to $50,000. A lifetime hunting and fishing license revocation may also be included in felony sentencing at the Judge’s discretion.

Each misdemeanor charge carries potential jail time of six months and fines up to $1,000. A one- to three-year hunting and fishing license revocation may also be included in misdemeanor sentencing at the Judge’s discretion.