“Conspiracy”: Group Caught Poaching Deer in Nevada City

A group of individuals from Nevada County now find themselves entangled in what hunting experts are describing as one of California’s most significant deer poaching cases in recent years. District Attorney Jesse Wilson has brought charges against six residents, accusing them of orchestrating various hunting crimes. Allegedly led by one individual, the group stands accused of embarking on nocturnal hunting expeditions through populated neighborhoods, utilizing bows or rifles and bright lights from flashlights or car headlights to target deer.

The complaint lodged against the group alleges that they engaged in the illegal poaching of numerous mule deer and bucks, both within and outside the lawful hunting season, potentially resulting in the deaths of dozens of animals. Moreover, the defendants are accused of participating in a conspiracy to transfer and falsify hunting tags and permits, further exacerbating their illicit activities. Additionally, it is alleged that the group wasted game meat by selectively harvesting valuable parts of the deer, such as the head, hide, antlers, and horns, while abandoning the remainder of the carcasses.

At the center of the alleged poaching ring is Bradley Chilton, purportedly the mastermind behind the operation, who is accused of actively evading law enforcement and being in unlawful possession of a firearm. Another individual is facing charges for aiding Chilton in evading arrest. Joining Chilton in facing felony conspiracy charges related to poaching are Travis Bort, Trevor Martini, James Brasier, Jon Pasadava, and Mikayla Pasadava. Additionally, Danielle Champeau is charged with assisting Chilton in evading arrest.

The case is currently progressing through the legal system of Nevada County. To legally hunt deer in Nevada County, as well as anywhere else in California, hunters must possess a valid California hunting license along with any requisite tags or permits for the specific type of deer they intend to hunt. Patrick Foy, captain of the California Fish and Wildlife Department’s legal division, emphasized that the charges brought forth against the defendants go beyond mere hunting infractions, categorizing their actions as blatant poaching.

Although deer may not be classified as a threatened species in California, their populations could face depletion if recreational hunters flout regulations. Foy warned that unchecked deer poaching activities, particularly within a confined geographical area, could have detrimental effects on the local deer population. Despite attempts to reach out for comment, representatives of the district attorney’s office and the regional game warden remained unavailable.

Bradley Chilton is scheduled to enter a plea in court on April 26 in Nevada City, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing legal proceedings surrounding this high-profile poaching case.



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