Investigators Serve Search Warrants in Local Poaching Ring

Game officials are investigating a Springfield man and his son for using identity theft to expand their local poaching scheme. Two search warrants have uncovered 106 sets of antlers, over half a ton of processed or frozen game meat, and hunting licenses for a collection of people, including neighbors and employees from the duo’s Springfield-based janitorial firm.

Rory Donoho, 59, and Shane Donoho, 37, have yet to  be formally charged, however officials cite charges of aggravated theft, racketeering, hunting for another person, conspiracy, and sharing in the proceeds of wildlife offense as reasons for the warrants.

Officers searched the Donoho’s homes and a Eugene meat company that they allegedly used to process and store their illegal game.  In the process of searching, officers came across two freshly killed elk that one affidavit claimed Shane Donoho had shot that morning using cow elk tags issued to two relatives, both female.

Despite years of complaints, officers had never been able to catch the duo committing a crime until last November when a woman who had dated an employee of the janitorial firm received a very strange package in the mail. What is commonly known as a “Tooth Envelope” had been sent to her with a letter asking her to donate a tooth from the big game she’d been harvesting in order to determine the animal’s age for statistical

purposes. The woman told agency members that she hadn’t hunted, and had never hunted in her life, yet someone giving her personal information had applied for multiple tags in 2010.

The licenses were tracked to a batch that was purchased- including one for Shane Donoho, one of his employees, and a relative- within a nine-minute period at the same Bi-Mart location. Since the woman never supplied her information, the men face identity theft charges, which is a Class C felony in Oregon, punishable by up to 13 months in prison.

Further investigation by the Department of Fish and Wildlife uncovered that someone using Shane Donoho’s phone number reported tags for eight different people, and a total of 12 deer over a 90-minute period in 2009.

One of the licenses was for a 59-year-old female neighbor of Shane Donoho who also has never before hunted big game. Another was an employee whose hunting report indicated he had killed a 2-point buck with a rifle, even though he is a convicted felon barred from possessing guns.

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