The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust will award $10,000 to the Oregon tipsters who supplied critical information that led to the arrest and conviction of Austin Burkett for two 2014 poaching cases in Jackson County, Oregon. Burkett pleaded guilty to one count of Misdemeanor Class A unlawful taking of an elk after an anonymous tip led to his arrest in connection with the illegal killing of an elk and three deer whose heads were removed and bodies dumped off Lake Creek Road in September 2014.
Burkett’s hunting license was suspended for three years and he was sentenced to 24 months of Bench Probation. As a condition of his probation, Burkett must pay a total of $17,000 in restitution for all counts, including those involving the deer that were dismissed. Judge Kelly Ravassipour presided over the hearing in Circuit Court in Jackson County in April.
Scott Beckstead, Oregon senior state director for the HSUS, said: “Poaching is a devastating crime that cannot be condoned. Poachers rob us and future generations of the benefits of a healthy and diverse wildlife population, and the full impact of their actions on Oregon’s ecosystem is impossible to gauge. We’re so thankful to the Oregon State Police, Deputy District Attorney Zori Cook, and Judge Kelly Ravassipour for their dedication to see this case through.”
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- Media Relations