Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

Wildlife officer faces federal charges

What was OK locally isn't OK federally

Allan Wright, a wildlife officer for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources,  probably breathed a sigh of relief when local prosecutors dropped record-tampering and falsification charges against him.

The feds didn’t let him off that easily.

Wright was indicted in federal district court Wednesday for violations of the Lacey Act, which prohibits interstate wildlife trafficking. He didn’t kill the deer he’s accused of helping to send to South Carolina, but he allegedly sold the illicit license that allowed it to happen.

The Associated Press has the story:

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Department of Natural Resources wildlife officer was indicted Wednesday on federal charges accusing him of helping a South Carolina hunter illegally obtain an Ohio-resident deer license at a discount that saved him about $105.
Allan Wright of Russellville was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati with trafficking in and making false records for illegally harvested white-tailed deer, state and federal authorities said.
The 45-year-old Wright was being placed on immediate unpaid administrative leave, the department said. Phone and email messages seeking comment were left for his attorney after business hours Wednesday.
Investigators have said Wright illegally let a South Carolina wildlife official use his home address in 2006 to receive a $19 Ohio license instead of paying the $125 out-of-state fee. They said the hunter killed three deer, Wright processed them as legally obtained, and the hunter transported the deer to South Carolina.
He had been charged last year in Brown County in southwest Ohio with state charges of record tampering and falsification, charges that were later dropped.
Wright also is accused of improperly giving someone in Michigan antlers he seized from a hunter who had killed a white-tailed deer illegally in 2009, and later lying about his actions on a state form.
Wright faces two felonies, each punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and two misdemeanors, each punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.