Arrest warrants have been issued for four out-of-state individuals for their alleged participation of big game poaching in two separate incidents near the Dakota Access pipeline protest.
Sean Carney of Center Conway, New Hampshire, and Danny LeClaire of Pocatello, Idaho, were identified in a photograph skinning a deer in southeastern Morton County for which they allegedly did not have a license to possess.
A later incident in November came to light, allegedly showing William Larkin of Olean, New York, and William Bighorse of Freeville, New York, dragging a whitetail buck from the Cannonball River, stabbing it repeatedly with a knife and then suffocating it in the bank mud as onlookers watched.
The video was obtained by Chief Game Warden Robert Timian, according to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, which released the footage to the public on Jan. 4 to gather information on the identity of the individuals. The video was made available on the Game and Fish Department’s YouTube channel, where it has received over 93,000 views and was “directly related to identifying the suspects and gathering evidence to support the charges,” according to Timian.
Larkin and Bighorse have been charged with the unlawful taking of a big game animal, a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment, a fine of $3,000, or both. Carney and LeClaire will also face the same charges, but have received additional charges of criminal trespass and engaging in a riot, court documents said.
None of the men charged with the alleged incidents are believed to be in the state.
“The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is seeking information through the Report All Poachers hotline on an apparent deer poaching that occurred this past fall near the N.D. Highway 1806 bridge over the Cannonball River in Morton County,” Timian wrote.
The State Game and Fish Department reported 226 violations for hunting, fishing and trapping without a license in 2016.
More participants have yet to be identified, and the department is asking for further information to be reported to the Report All Poachers hotline at (800) 472-2121 or the Game and Fish enforcement division at (701) 328-6604. Callers can remain anonymous.