Turner men charged with illegal hunting in Maine

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AUBURN — A father and son in Turner have been indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury on 35 charges of illegal hunting, drug trafficking, criminal trespass and indecent conduct.

Everett H. Leonard, 60, and his son, Everett T. Leonard, 32, are each charged with crimes alleged to have occurred between September and November of last year in Turner, Leeds and Auburn.

Everett T. Leonard, a former police officer with no prior criminal history, was arrested in January and charged with similar crimes, but the charges were later dismissed as police and prosecutors prepared to present their case to a grand jury.

The charges follow a four-month investigation by the Maine Warden Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The Leonards, along with Carlton John Enos, 19, of Turner and Lucien H. Clavet, 44, of Monmouth, have been accused of illegally hunting as many as 30 deer from a base camp in north-central Pennsylvania last year.

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A 17-year-old Greene boy was also charged in the Pennsylvania case, and has since pleaded guilty to all charges and sentenced to pay nearly $7,000 in fines.

When Leonard and his son were arrested earlier this year, police seized hundreds of pounds of deer meat, firearms, deer antlers, bows and arrows, spotlights, a mounted hawk and owls, a computer, documents and other hunting-related equipment from their homes.

According to Androscoggin County Superior Court records, the older Leonard is now charged with four felony counts of unlawful trafficking of oxycodone in Turner in September and November; two counts of driving deer on Nov. 18 and Nov. 20 in Turner, in which he is accused of participating in a group hunt to purposely drive deer toward a group of three or more people; one count of trapping without a license; and one count of indecent conduct, accused of purposely exposing himself to someone with the purpose of alarming that person.

The charges filed against the younger man, Everett H. Leonard, are more extensive.

He has been charged with seven counts of hunting while his hunting license was either suspended or revoked, of which five counts are alleged to have occurred over consecutive days of Nov. 17 through Nov. 21; two counts of hunting deer and turkey in Turner during the closed season over consecutive days in September; five counts of night hunting on consecutive days in Leeds and Turner in November; three counts of illuminating wild animals or birds; one count of molesting wildlife with a motor vehicle; and one count of driving deer into a group of three or more people.

He has also been charged with five felony counts of unlawful possession of oxycodone; two counts of criminal trespass, including one charge stemming from his presence on Decoster Egg Farm property despite specific instruction from a company representative that he was not permitted to be there; and one count of theft by unauthorized taking, stemming from the alleged theft of baby formula from Walmart in November.

If convicted of all the Maine charges, the younger Leonard could face a maximum of 43.5 years in jail and $61,000 in fines; the older Leonard, up to 42 years in jail and $84,000 in fines.

The men have also been charged with illegal hunting in Pennsylvania; the younger Leonard is charged with 22 felonies and 10 misdemeanor crimes of unlawful killing or taking of big game, plus a number of misdemeanor drug charges; his father is charged with 14 felonies and nine misdemeanor crimes.

They have both waived the preliminary hearing process and are awaiting trial.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, if convicted on all counts, the younger Leonard could face up to 88 years in jail and $414,800 in fines; his father, could face up to 54 years and $255,300 in fines.

jmeyer@sunjournal.com

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