ELLSWORTH -- Four Ellsworth area residents were charged last month in Pierce County Circuit Court on assorted charges related to deer hunting activities:
Isaac E. Benck, 18, N3842 750th St., was charged with resisting conservation warden, hunting deer during closed season, four charges of illegal shining of deer, elk or bear, and failure to attach ear tag to deer carcass.
Patrick M. Freund, 18, W4415 Highway 72, is looking at four counts of illegal shining, hunt deer during closed season and failure to attach ear tag to deer carcass.
Matthew J. McRoberts, 20, 183 Sunset Circle, was charged with two counts of illegal shining.
Those three will appear in court April 29.
Patricia A. Jamison, 38, Lot 140 Evergreen Estates, faces two counts of illegal shining. He will be in court Monday.
Pierce County conservation warden Brad Peterson outlined the case against the four in the criminal complaint. A summary of that follows:
Between last October and November, Peterson received several complaints of deer being shot during the night near Esdaile and the Rush River County Road A area Some died.
Investigation started on Jamison, then spread to the other three. Peterson noted Benck killed at least five deer and was involved in several other deer that were killed or shot at. Freund killed at least four deer and was involved in several other deer that were killed or shot at. McRoberts was involved in the shining and shooting of at least two deer. Jamison was involved in the tagging of an illegally killed deer and attempted killing.
"This group of individuals has committed multiple criminal violations, multiple civil forfeitures violations and multiple basic Firearms Safety Rules violations," Peterson said in his report.
Furthermore, Peterson alleged that Benck was the ringleader, as he was coaching the rest of the suspects and he blamed the deer shooting on Freund, as did McRoberts and Jamison. Benck also made threats to Jamison about making sure "she stuck to his story, otherwise he would haunt her forever."
In conclusion, Peterson said, "Isaac Benck, Freund, McRoberts and Jamison have all taken hunter safety and knew that the activities they were engaged in were illegal. (I) know this to be a fact because (I) taught all of them hunter safety and the illegal activity they were engaged in was covered in the class."
Since charges were filed in this case, Benck was also charged, related to this one, on four counts of shooting protected birds and animals, failure to register wild turkey, hunting turkey without a valid permit, borrowing another's license and transporting an untagged turkey, all forfeitures. Peterson noted he was found in possession of four badgers, which are protected in Wisconsin. He has also been charged with criminal damage to property relating to an incident last August.