Two guilty of multiple deer poaching lose their hunting licenses

HUDSON—The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) revoked the hunting licenses of Hunter Ordway and Jeremy Schermerhorn, September 17.

Mr. Ordway and Mr. Schermerhorn were convicted in 2018 of numerous violations of the Environmental Conservation Law, including what is commonly referred to as “deer jacking.” They were fined $12,000 and $3,000, respectively, the highest fines ever in state history for deer poaching, says a press release from District Attorney Paul Czajka.

According to a February 2018 story in The Columbia Paper, Mr. Ordway, then 19, of Chatham was charged with four misdemeanors for taking too many deer, two misdemeanors for taking deer with the use of an artificial light (commonly called deer jacking) and 11 violations that included failure to report a harvest, possessing the license of another, tagging violations and shooting after sunset.

Mr. Schermerhorn, then 41, of Chatham was charged with three misdemeanors for taking too many deer, and eight violations that included failure to report a harvest, tagging violations, and possessing the license of another.

A third man, Ryan Bishop, then 24, of Kinderhook was charged with two violations, hunting without a bow privilege and a tagging violation. All three men were charged by Environmental Conservation Officer Jeffrey Cox.

Authorities determined that Mr. Ordway allegedly illegally shot two deer the evening of December 15, 2017. As a result of the investigation into that shooting, the DEC was able to bring the other charges against Mr. Ordway. During the investigation, DEC found that Mr. Ordway was boiling untagged deer skulls for Mr. Schermerhorn and that led to an investigation of Mr. Schermerhorn and the ensuing charges against him.

Deer heads are boiled to remove all the fur and flesh when making a mount of the skull and antlers, a DEC official said.

In an attempt to find the taxidermist who had the two heads of the deer Mr. Ordway shot December 15, information was obtained that led to the charges against Mr. Bishop. The multiple deer that were taken illegally in this case were taken throughout the deer season, DEC said.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos recognized Assistant District Attorneys Joyce Crawford and Ryan Carty for this prosecution and recognized the DA’s role in obtaining search warrants resulting in the seizure of “nearly 100 illegal wildlife products and obtaining convictions resulting in over $35,000 in criminal fines,” the DA’s release said.

The District Attorney requested that DEC impose a lifetime revocation of the hunting licenses for the defendants. But state law (ECL Sec. 11-0719) limits such revocations to five years. Consequently, DEC revoked the hunting license of Mr. Ordway for the maximum period allowed by law of five years and the hunting license of Mr. Schermerhorn for four years. Further, the commissioner directed both to successfully complete a Sportsmen Education Program during the revocation period.

DA Czajka commended the investigation of Environmental Conservation Officer Cox for bringing these two criminals to justice.

*Hudson City Police assisted the New York State Parole Division with the execution of warrant issued for a violation of parole, September 25 at 6:11 p.m.

The State Parole Division arrested Marcus Mitchell, 36, at his residence on upper Columbia Street. While making the arrest, parole officers and HPD detectives discovered that Mr. Mitchell allegedly possessed more than an ounce of cocaine, several MDMA pills (ecstasy) and marijuana.

Mr. Mitchell was charged with: third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony; fourth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class C felony, and fourth degree criminal possession of marijuana, a class A misdemeanor.

Mr. Mitchell was arraigned before Judge John Connor in Hudson City Court and was sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $15,000 cash bail or $25,000 bond. He is due back in court at a later date.

Greenport

Corey Wright, 25, of Hudson was charged with second degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C felony; second degree criminal contempt, seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fourth degree criminal possession of marijuana, all class A misdemeanors, by Deputies Steven Rose and Philipp Gomm September 16 at 10:34 p.m.

Deputies were assisting Greenport Police with a domestic incident on Town Hall Drive when they attempted to interview Mr. Wright, an involved party. He attempted to flee deputies and was found to allegedly possess a loaded handgun. A current order of protection issued in Hudson City Court prevents the defendant from illegally possessing any firearms. In addition, Mr. Wright allegedly possessed a quantity of heroin and about 160 grams of marijuana. He was arraigned in Claverack Court and sent to the Columbia County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail/$2,000 bond. He was to appear in Greenport Court at a later date.

Ghent

Emil Meltz, III, 56, of Ghent was charged with third degree assault, fourth degree criminal mischief—prevent emergency call, and petit larceny, all class A misdemeanors, by Deputy Timothy Gladwin September 15 at 9:06 p.m.

Mr. Meltz is accused of having a physical altercation with a female at a private residence in Ghent. He allegedly punched the victim in the face causing physical injury and then damaged the victim’s phone preventing her from calling 911. He was arraigned in Ghent Court and released on his own recognizance with a return date of October 21.

*Albert Dalton, 53, of Ghent was charged with second degree criminal contempt, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputies Ryan Boehme and Steven Rose, September 10 at 10:33 p.m. Mr. Dalton allegedly violated an order of protection issued by Columbia County Supreme Court. He was arraigned in Ghent Court and was released on his own recognizance with a later return court date.

Columbiaville

Christopher Stevens, 33, of East Nassau was charged on a warrant for first degree possession of a forged instrument, a class C felony, and petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor, by Deputy Thomas Merante September 17 at 2:28 p.m.

On September 12 at 1:41 a.m., deputies responded to the Cumberland Farms in Columbiaville for a complaint about a male subject who allegedly paid for gasoline and store merchandise with counterfeit money.

He was arraigned in Greenport Court and was released on his own recognizance with a later return date in Stockport Court. The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office assisted with the investigation.

Stuyvesant

Dana Swint, 33, of Hudson was charged with second degree criminal impersonation, a class A misdemeanor; second degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a class U misdemeanor; operating with no license and having an inadequate exhaust, both traffic infractions, by Deputies Jordan Brahm and Andrew Horst, September 15 at 12:14 p.m. Ms. Swint was stopped while operating a vehicle on State Route 9J in Stuyvesant. She allegedly identified herself to deputies by a different name. She was also allegedly driving with a suspended license. Tickets were issued with a return court date of October 9 in Stuyvesant Court.

To contact Diane Valden email

Guardrails knocked down. A cabulance struck guardrails along Route 295, Canaan October 9 about 1/10 of a mile east of Beebe Pond Road. Columbia County 911 dispatched Canaan firefighters and Chatham Rescue at 7:02 a.m. The CRT Cabulance, a Pittsfield, MA-based service which transports people with limited mobility, was traveling east when it went off the right shoulder of the road and hit guardrails, knocking down about a 200 foot section. Chatham Rescue took one person to Berkshire Medical Center. No patients were in the vehicle at the time of the accident. The State Department of Transportation was on the scene and the Department of Environmental Conservation was advised of a fuel leak. State Police investigated. Firefighters were back in service at 8:42 a.m. Photo by R.E. Lindmark

Bank aids in fire service recruitment

CHATHAM—In conjunction with October is Fire Prevention Month, the Bank of Greene County is partnering with local volunteer fire departments to assist in recruitment by showcasing the fire service in all of its branches.

Fire department representatives will be in the branches periodically to answer questions and materials describing volunteer opportunities will be available.

At the Chatham Branch, members of the Chatham and Ghent fire departments will staff the branch as their time permits.

In addition, the staff of the branch will periodically wear Chatham Fire Department t-shirts to raise awareness of the need for volunteers.

Donald MacCormack of the bank is coordinating the effort, contact him at 518-943-2600 or

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