Saturday, 02 December 2023

Clearlake man sentenced for deer poaching

CLEARLAKE – On Monday a Clearlake man received jail time, probation, fines and prohibitions on hunting for his conviction in a deer poaching case.


Pursuant to a plea agreement proposed by the District Attorney's Office, Judge Stephen Hedstrom sentenced Jose Manuel Hernandez-Medina, 53, to three years probation, 45 days jail, a fine of $2,295, and no hunting or possession of firearms in any area inhabited by game animals for three years.


Hernandez-Medina's .22 and .308 rifles, digital camera and machete were ordered forfeited to law enforcement authorities as part of the deal, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who oversees all fish and wildlife prosecutions in Lake County.


On July 5, Game Warden Loren Freeman received a call from an informant reporting several males standing around three dead doe deer along Round Mountain Road in the Clearlake Oaks area, according to Hinchcliff.


The informant reported a vehicle license plate number to the warden, who ran the plate to determine the address of the registered owner of the vehicle, Hinchcliff said.


Freeman responded to that address in the city of Clearlake, where he found Hernandez-Medina cleaning blood out of an ice chest. Hinchcliff said that, after further investigation, Freeman found and confiscated three doe deer that had been illegally killed, along with a .22 caliber rifle and ammunition, a .308 rifle, a digital camera and a machete.


Hinchcliff charged Hernandez-Medina with felony conspiracy and six misdemeanor violations of the Fish and Game Code.


On Monday, Hinchcliff said Hernandez-Medina pleaded guilty in Superior Court's Department Four in Clearlake to misdemeanor violations of taking deer when the season was not open, taking deer without possessing a deer tag, and possessing deer without being in possession of a valid hunting license.


Hinchcliff said other charges were dismissed in exchange for those admissions.


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