ALLAGASH, Maine — Three Allagash men have been sentenced to serve jail time and pay significant fines for multiple violations uncovered during an extensive investigation into illegal hunting activity conducted by the Maine Warden Service in 2012-2013.
Reid Caron, 37, of Allagash, pleaded guilty May 28 in Aroostook County Superior Court before Justice E. Allen Hunter to 38 hunting-related violations, Cpl. John Macdonald of the warden service said in a written statement issued Wednesday.
Among the violations were nine counts of night hunting, five counts of hunting during closed season, four counts of hunting after/exceeding limit on deer, four counts of illegally hunting antlerless deer, two counts of night hunting deer or moose, one count of guiding without a license, one count of hunting moose without a permit, one count of possession of grouse, seven counts of shooting a loaded firearm from a motor vehicle and three counts of hunting under the influence.
Caron was arrested on a warrant back in February 2014 on the hunting moose at night charge and taken to the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton. The warden service investigation into illegal hunting in the Allagash area culminated in the execution of six search warrants — five in Allagash and one in Palermo. A total of eight people were charged in connection with the case.
Caron was sentenced to 364 days in jail with all but 90 days suspended and ordered to pay fines of more than $21,000. He will remain on probation for one year, according to Macdonald.
“Mr. Caron is an example of a repeat, intentional game violator with a blatant disregard for all hunting laws,” Warden Dan Scott said in Wednesday’s written statement. “He had been apprehended in the past for similar activity but continued his illegal hunting undeterred. Whereas this time he was the target of an extensive, in-depth investigation and subsequent substantial penalties, we hope Mr. Caron will discontinue his abuse of our natural resources.”
Scott added that Caron will face significant loss of hunting and fishing privileges through license suspensions by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Caron was charged in 2007 with night hunting and hunting moose in closed season. At the time, Caron had been an Allagash Wilderness Waterway assistant park ranger for seven years. He resigned the position after pleading guilty to night hunting, according to Bangor Daily News archives. The charge of hunting moose in closed season was dismissed. Caron was sentenced in that case to three days in jail and fined $1,000.
Another defendant in that prior case with Caron also was involved in the most current case. Jess McBreairty, 51, of Allagash was sentenced earlier this year to 50 days in jail and ordered to pay more than $3,000 in fines. He was given credit for the time he already served in jail and was released. He also was ordered to pay more than $3,000 in fines.
McBreairty was convicted of hunting deer during the closed season, exceeding the bag limit on deer, possessing an antlerless deer without a permit, hunting with a revoked license, having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and violating bail conditions.
Another co-defendant, Carter McBreairty, 59, of Allagash, was sentenced earlier this year on three counts of hunting under the influence, three counts of exceeding the bag limit on deer, three counts of having a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, night hunting, failure to register a deer and over limit on brook trout.
He was sentenced to 364 days in jail with all but 30 days suspended and 60 days of 24-hour home confinement, according to Wednesday’s press release. He also was ordered to pay fines in excess of $8,500. McDonald said McBreairty also will face additional DIF&W license suspensions.
Others who were charged in the case at the time were Kim Hafford, 53, of Allagash for false registration of deer; Hope Kelly, 63, of Allagash for possession of moose killed at night and possession of unregistered moose; Gregory Hughes, 63, of Allagash for possession of a firearm by a felon; Arlo Caron, 73, of Allagash for unlawful possession of gift deer; and Gerald M. Pollard, 57, of Palermo for illegal possession of moose.
The BDN was unable to determine Wednesday whether those charges had been handled by the court yet.