Fish and Wildlife Division troopers from the Mid-Valley Team (Salem/Albany) served search warrants on the residence of Nathan J. Rice (age 40) of Sweet Home. Rice is a convicted felon, on post-prison supervision, and is currently serving a lifetime hunting suspension. Troopers received information Rice was in possession of multiple firearms and wildlife parts associated with two unlawfully killed buck deer. The search yielded eight firearms, many of which were fully loaded, and multiple sets of trophy blacktailed deer and elk antlers. The troopers seized the firearms, antlers, and game meat.
Rice was lodged at the Linn County Jail on a parole violation detainer and issued criminal citations for Possession of Firearm by Felon (8 counts), Take/Possession Buck Deer (17 counts), Take/Possession Bull Elk (2 counts), Lend/Borrow Big Game Tag, Exceeding Bag Limit of Game Mammal, and Aiding in Wildlife Offense (2 counts). Additional suspects and charges pending follow-up investigation.
A violation of any provision of the wildlife laws (such as the unlawful take of deer), or any rule adopted pursuant to the wildlife laws, is a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed with a culpable mental state in Oregon. If convicted, a person can be charged with the maximum penalty of $6250, have their hunting privileges suspended and forfeit weapons or other items used in the commission of the crime(s).
Anyone with information regarding wildlife violations is encouraged to report the information to the Oregon State Police Turn in Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888. Information can remain anonymous.
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