3 men charged with poaching and related offenses in two incidents in Franklin County
FRANKLIN COUNTY — Three men have been charged with poaching and related offenses in two separate incidents, according to a PublicOpinionOnline report and court documents.
In one case, a 28-year-old Fayetteville man was charged after he allegedly shared a picture of a 9-point white-tailed buck taken outside of deer season.
The photo was sent to a member of the Game Commission by an informant.
After an investigation, Ryan L. Bingaman was charged with a misdemeanor offense of killing big game outside season limits, the summary offenses of hunting without a license and hunting while privileges were revoked, and six felony counts of possession of firearms offenses, court documents say.
According to investigators, the picture was shown to the Game Commission on Nov. 14, but were told the photo was taken two weeks earlier, court documents say. After an investigation, it was determined that Bingaman had not reported any big game kills within the required reporting period.
Bingaman also had his hunting license revoked in 2012 after pleading guilty to killing big game animals out of season, court documents say.
According to court documents, Bingaman also has a felony burglary conviction on his criminal record, which prohibits him from possessing firearms.
According to the Public Opinion, investigators had a conversation with Bingaman using a “covert” Facebook account on Nov. 16, where they discussed the deer. Investigators searched Bingaman’s residence the next day and discovered several firearms and the antlers of the deer in the photo.
Bingaman claimed he was allowed to live in the same residence as the firearms, as long as he didn’t handle them, according to the Public Opinion. His probation officer contradicted that claim.
Bingaman also allegedly told investigators he took the deer with a crossbow, but they determined at least one of the crossbows found at the residence was not powerful enough.
The 9-point antlers were measured and the deer’s score was determined to be a 115 0/8, according to court documents. The Game Commission is requesting the replacement costs of the deer, around $5,500.
In the second poaching case, two men — one from Waynesboro, the other from Mount Alto — were charged after Game Commission officers were called to an orchard in the area near the 8000 block of Anthony Highway in Qunicy Township, shortly after midnight on Nov. 4, according to the Public Opinion report.
The officers found two men in a vehicle using a spotlight, according to the Public Opinion. When the officers approached, one of the men made a motion consistent with unloading a firearm.
The officers determined there were firearms in the vehicle. The two suspects, Raymond E. Webber, 47, of Waynesboro, and Brandon Lee Young, 32, of Mount Alto, were determined to be in possession of the firearms.
Raymond was charged with felony possession of a firearm when prohibited, misdemeanor possession of an instrument of a crime, unlawful killing or taking of big game when the season was closed and unlawful use of artificial light, as well as several poaching-related offenses.
Young was charged with misdemeanor possession of an instrument of a crime, unlawful killing or taking of big game during the closed season and unlawful use of artificial light, and several summary poaching related offenses.
During the stop, investigators could see a “freshly killed” white-tailed antlerless deer carcass in the bed of the pickup truck, according to the Public Opinion report.
Young admitted to killing the deer by shooting it three times, and to killing it after dark while in the orchard, according to court documents. He allegedly admitted using the spotlight to find the deer, then got out of the vehicle to shoot the deer. He also said he did not have permission to be on the property.
Webber was found to have a felony burglary conviction, prohibiting him from possessing or handling firearms.
Investigators say replacement costs of the deer would be $800.