By Rob Parsons/A-D Reporter
A dozen hunters face federal poaching charges in connection with the deaths of more than 100 waterfowl earlier this year in Sutter County.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed charges on Friday against the hunters linked to the Jan. 16 alleged poaching in Sutter, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, said on Wednesday no court dates have been set.
Federal prosecutors filed six misdemeanor counts including unlawfully possessing untagged migratory game birds, unlawful storage of migratory game birds, exceeding the possession limit of waterfowl, white geese, ducks and migratory game birds and unlawful transportation of migratory game birds.
Each count carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $15,000 fine, according to the complaint.
Nevada David Smith, Jeffrey Allen Catlett and Cody Eugene Shogren were each charged with multiple counts.
Smith and Catlett are charged with possessing 134 waterfowl, 41 pintail ducks and 24 white geese. Shogren is charged with possessing 30 white geese. Jeffrey Leroy Dombo is charged with possessing 28 ducks, the complaint says.
Also charged were: Dennis Edward Clark, Jared Craig Woods, Elliott Robert Peters, Cassandra Mirinda Stearns, Brian Daniel Ness, Carson Andrew Lock, Eric David Ness and Micayla Rae Turner. Hometowns of all the accused people were not listed in the complaint.
Investigators with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said the hunters were using questionable hunting methods, including surrounding the birds with numerous hunters and shooting into a large flock as the startled birds tried to fly away.