Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources announced today (Thursday), that four Louisiana men face 76 counts and nearly $86,000 in fines and civil damages for allegedly killing five deer illegally in southwest Iowa last November. The DNR says 41-year old James Keith Moore, of Hammond, La., and 45-year old Michael D. Fralick, of Ponchatoula, La., were charged with 32 counts each of deer related violations in four different counties in southwest Iowa. Moore and Fralick were each fined $6,123.90. The state is also seeking $25,000 in civil damages from each man for the deer they allegedly killed illegally. In addition, 46-year old Stanley B. Russell, of Roseland, La., and 39-year old William H. Chambliss, of Kentwood, La., were charged with six counts each of deer related violations in Montgomery County. Russell and Chambliss were each fined $1,823.40. The state is seeking $10,000 in civil damages from each man for their role in the alleged poaching activity. The state has also requested forfeiture of four rifles the individuals used to shoot the deer.
The investigation began in late November when the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Department received a TIP call from a concerned citizen about the activities of these men. The information led authorities to possible illegal activity in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources received a TIP call about illegal deer activity around the same time that linked the two cases together. Deb Howe, state conservation officer for the Iowa DNR, said “These men came to Iowa specifically to road hunt trophy bucks during the rut. They did not have any licenses or tags to hunt in Iowa during the time they were here.”
A 10 month investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Bureau, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Game & Fish, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks culminated in the 76 wildlife-related counts being filed against four Louisiana men. Fralick, Russell and Chambliss face similar charges in Kansas. An initial court date will be scheduled for November.
Information received through the TIP hotline in both Iowa and Kansas was critical in this investigation. If you have information on wildlife crimes please call TIP of Iowa at 1-800-532-2020 you can remain anonymous.