Seven defendants from Georgia face a total of 136 state charges. The lions share of those charges were filed against Brent Thomas, 39, Cleveland, Ga. He faces 101 violations across seven counties in Georgia.
Cindy Clanton, 34, Hoschton, faces five violations, George Stone, 43, Crawfordville, faces just one charge, Rondal Westmoreland, Cleveland, faces three violations, Cale Stancil, 40, Rabun Gap, is charged with eight violations, Walter Stancil, 65, of Rabun Gap, faces 16 violations, and Jerry Parker, 61, also of Rabun Gap, faces four violations.
Jack Billingsley, 61, Scaly Mountain, N.C., faces one violation in Rabun County.
“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that we have sustainable natural resources for the public to enjoy for generations,” said Dan Forster, director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.
Officers were able document violations including bear baiting; illegal take of bears, deer and other wildlife; illegal use of dogs; illegal operation of bear pens in North Carolina; and guiding hunts on national forest lands without the required permits.
Officers began making arrests this past Tuesday. Col. Eddie Henderson, chief of the Wildlife Resources Division’s Law Enforcement Section, emphasized that the effort also reinforces the public’s role in helping combat poaching and conserve wildlife.
Rick Lavender, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said he anticipates other federal charges will be filed as a result of the investigation.
“Conservation officers cannot be everywhere,” Henderson said. “The public can be a great asset by reporting poaching and suspicious activity through their state’s toll-free report-a-violation line.
Learn more at about the operation at www.operationsomethingbruin.org or www.georgiawildlife.com/operationsomethingbruin.