Gauley tagged for illegal hunting
The Mercer County State's Attorney's office filed a 21-count Information on Monday, March 14, 2011, for the illegal taking of deer and wildlife by James A. Gauley, 23, of Aledo.
The alleged acts took place in Mercer County between December 2008 and January 2011. Five of the counts are felonies for multiple allegations of illegal possession of deer. In total, the defendant is accused of having illegal possession of 12 deer on different occasions throughout that time span as well as other protected species. The public is asked to report any observation of illegal hunting to the Department of Natural Resources.
According to Captain Gregory P. Hunter of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in Sterling, this is one of the most serious cases ever uncovered in Northern Illinois.
Assistant State's Attorney Meeghan Lee noted the outstanding work of Conservation Police Officer Laura Petreikis in spending hundreds of hours in this wide ranging investigation. Through the hard work and dedications of Officer Petreikis, Department of Natural Resources has uncovered some of the most egregious forms of illegal taking.
The 21-count information filed not only includes the taking of deer (antlered, antlerless and does), but one count is for taking a protected species Blue Heron, another for taking rabbit during closed season, another for using a fraudulent deer permit, two counts of taking deer unlawfully with the use of a motor vehicle (shooting from inside a vehicle on the roadway) and falsifying documents pertaining to harvest record (using another's name).
For the Class 3 felony, Gauley could face between three to seven years in the state prison and the multiple Class 4 felonies can range from one to three years in state prison. Each misdemeanor can result in up to a year in the county jail.