Ranger accused of poaching placed on paid leave

Posted Sept. 23, 2008, at 9:42 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — An Allagash Wilderness Waterway ranger who has been charged with hunting moose in closed season and with night hunting has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Department of Conservation Ranger Reid Caron, 30, and Jess Mcbreairty, 44, both of Allagash, were charged with the violations after an investigation was launched by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The investigation centered on a moose that had been shot and killed Sept. 7 on St. Francis Road in Township 15, Range 10.

Mcbreairty also was charged with shooting from a motor vehicle, cultivating marijuana and possession of a useable amount of marijuana.

According to court records, Caron and Mcbreairty went hunting for moose during the night of Sept. 7 and Mcbreairty allegedly shot the moose discovered by wardens. Caron allegedly told authorities that he and Mcbreairty were preparing to dress out the moose when a motorist came by, prompting them to flee the scene.

Caron, who has been a ranger in the wilderness waterway for about seven years, allegedly told authorities he was having “a hard time getting by” so the pair went to get some moose meat.

Will Harris, director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands, Department of Conservation, said Tuesday that Caron is on paid administrative leave. He offered no further comment other than to say that it is now a personnel matter.

Both men are expected to make their initial court appearance on the Class D charges on Dec. 19 at Fort Kent District Court.

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