The third of four major members of a loose-knit Southwest Washington poaching ring was sentenced earlier this month.
A Skamania County judge ordered Joseph A. Dills to serve a year and pay $14,000 in fines after he pled guilty to illegal big game hunting, hound hunting and wasting game, according to The Daily News of Longview.
Dills was also told to stay away from other members of the group, including his father, for half a decade, and he cannot own hunting dogs.
The newspaper reported that the 32-year-old can do his time on work release to pay the fine, but noncompliance could bring even heavier fines and result in hard time instead.
It’s at least the second time in the past dozen years that Dills has been sentenced for poaching. He was a member of the “Kill ’Em All Boyz” and in 2007 pled guilty to second-degree hunting violations and illegally baiting bears. He was sentenced to over two months in jail and to pay more than $2,000 in fines.
His most recent conviction came out of a December 2016 traffic stop by Oregon State Police wildlife troopers investigating a string of headless bucks shot and left on winter range near Mt. Hood.
They matched a trail cam photo of a truck with one spotted in The Dalles and pulled it over.
Inside were William J. Haynes and Erik C. Martin, whose cell phones led to a treasure trove of evidence linking that duo with Joseph Dills and his father, Eddy Dills, and accusations they and others were complicit in the illegal killings of dozens upon dozens of deer, elk, bears and bobcats in Washington and Oregon.
Since pleading guilty to 15 counts, including five felonies, in January (Northwest Sportsman, March 2019), Haynes was sentenced to a year in jail and fined $14,800, according to The Daily News. Eddy Dills received three-plus weeks of home detention.
As for Martin, per the paper, he is scheduled to go on trial in Skamania County on May 13 for 28 wildlife violations.
Once again, hat tip to prosecutors for following such a massive case through.