Deer legs located during the investigation. Wyoming Game & Fish photo.

(Lander, Wyo.) – On December 20, 2013, a Riverton man pleaded guilty in the Ninth District Circuit Court in Riverton to poaching a buck mule deer in a closed season. The incident occurred on June 28, 2013, near the Honor Farm, east of Riverton.

Jarrod Maloff, 19, of Riverton originally pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for a jury trial in mid-December. A few days before the trial, Maloff and his attorney reached a plea deal with Deputy County Attorney Oakley. In a change of plea hearing, Judge Roberts sentenced Maloff to $1,000 in fines, all suspended, $3,000 in restitution, one year of hunting privileges suspended, six months unsupervised probation, and Maloff cannot possess firearms or ammunition or be around anyone that does for six months. In addition, Maloff spent several days in the Fremont County jail after an arrest warrant was served for the illegal take of the deer.

South Riverton Game Warden Brad Gibb, who was the lead officer in the case, and Wildlife Investigator Scott Browning, who assisted Gibb during the investigation, both attended the Change of Plea hearing for Maloff and assisted the Prosecutor in the sentencing phase of the case. Browning recounts that “Judge Roberts was adamant that this is not the way things are done in Wyoming and he was not pleased that Maloff had killed the four point buck out of season.  Mr. Maloff assured the judge that he was not brought up this way, it was a dumb mistake, and would not happen again.”

There were two other Riverton males involved in the case, Jacob Eaton, 19, and Joshua “Josh” Marsh, 20. They pleaded guilty to charges for their “accessory” role in the crime and have been previously sentenced. Fines for the two total over $1,800 for the deer, and Eaton’s hunting privileges are revoked for one year in Wyoming and 39 reciprocal states.

Like several investigations, this investigation started with an anonymous tip from the public. Poaching reports may be made to the “STOP POACHING” Hotline: 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847) or 1-307-777-4330 for out-of-state “STOP POACHING” calls only. Violations may also be reported at regional offices or on-line at http://gf.state.wy.us/wildlife/enforcement/stoppoaching/submitTip.aspx

–Wyoming Game & Fish Department