IDNR taxidermy sting yields multiple arrests

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
69,719
Reaction score
550
Taxidermy sting yields multiple crimes

More arrests expected

5/2/02

By RALPH LOOS, State Journal Register (Springfield, IL)

RUSHVILLE — Even criminals sometimes have business savvy.

Agents for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources say Ronald March could not only stuff and mount your pheasant or duck, he also could hook you up with a reasonably priced — i.e. "hot" — ATV or boat.

And if that wasn’t enough to satisfy your shopping pleasure, March allegedly grew and sold marijuana.

"It was quite an enterprise, but that’s not unusual for these kinds of cases," said an agent working on Operation Scab Hollow, the name given to a yearlong covert investigation in rural Schuyler County.

The agent, who is working undercover for the Division of Investigations of the Illinois Conservation Police, cannot be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

"We expect to make more arrests," the agent said. "It’s not complete yet."

In a preliminary hearing Wednesday, a judge in Schuyler County found probable cause to charge Ronald W. March, 46, of Rushville. His arraignment is scheduled for May 15.

On April 12, investigators arrested March on charges of felony theft, delivery of more than 30 grams of marijuana, sale of protected species and possession of illegally taken deer. He was also charged with manufacture of marijuana over 50 plants.

Also arrested in the sting were Robert L. Beatty, 32, and Shawn J. Jones, both of Rushville.

Beatty, who waived his preliminary hearing, was charged with felony theft, shooting across a roadway and attempting to take a protected species.

Jones was charged with unlawful sale of protected species,

possession of marijuana and various deer hunting violations. He was granted a continuance at his hearing Wednesday.

Three other men, including Thomas March — Ronald March’s twin brother —were arrested for various wildlife violations. Thomas March, 46, and Mark B. Mutzbauer, 42, both of Springfield, and Donnie L. Self, 34, of Rushville were released at the time of their arrests.

On Wednesday, Mutzbauer pleaded guilty to taking a turkey out of season and was fined $500. Self was fined $150 for shooting across a roadway and $250 for taking a protected species.

The hearing for Thomas March will be held at a future date in Sangamon County.

Operation Scab Hollow — named after the road Ronald March lives on in rural Schuyler County— began in December 2000 as an undercover investigation of illegal taxidermy.

"Ronald March did not have a license to do taxidermy, and we had an agent taking wildlife there to be mounted as part of the investigation," the agent said. "Once you get accepted in a ring like this, it’s easy to learn about other illegal activity, and that’s how this case was built."

Incidentally, while Ronald March was allegedly illegally performing taxidermy, his twin brother Thomas is a licensed taxidermist.

With the help of the Secretary of State Police, search and arrest warrants were executed in Sangamon and Schuyler counties April 12. Seized in the sting were a stolen ATV and a stolen Polar Kraft boat, reports said. Also found were numerous firearms, 76 marijuana plants, illegal wildlife and illegal game mounts, authorities said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has joined in the investigation, and federal charges may be filed against the men.

Ralph Loos can be reached at 788-1528 or ralph.loos@sj-r.com.
 

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
69,719
Reaction score
550
Taxidermy sting yields multiple crimes

More arrests expected

5/2/02

By RALPH LOOS, State Journal Register (Springfield, IL)

RUSHVILLE — Even criminals sometimes have business savvy.

Agents for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources say Ronald March could not only stuff and mount your pheasant or duck, he also could hook you up with a reasonably priced — i.e. "hot" — ATV or boat.

And if that wasn’t enough to satisfy your shopping pleasure, March allegedly grew and sold marijuana.

"It was quite an enterprise, but that’s not unusual for these kinds of cases," said an agent working on Operation Scab Hollow, the name given to a yearlong covert investigation in rural Schuyler County.

The agent, who is working undercover for the Division of Investigations of the Illinois Conservation Police, cannot be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

"We expect to make more arrests," the agent said. "It’s not complete yet."

In a preliminary hearing Wednesday, a judge in Schuyler County found probable cause to charge Ronald W. March, 46, of Rushville. His arraignment is scheduled for May 15.

On April 12, investigators arrested March on charges of felony theft, delivery of more than 30 grams of marijuana, sale of protected species and possession of illegally taken deer. He was also charged with manufacture of marijuana over 50 plants.

Also arrested in the sting were Robert L. Beatty, 32, and Shawn J. Jones, both of Rushville.

Beatty, who waived his preliminary hearing, was charged with felony theft, shooting across a roadway and attempting to take a protected species.

Jones was charged with unlawful sale of protected species, possession of marijuana and various deer hunting violations. He was granted a continuance at his hearing Wednesday.

Three other men, including Thomas March — Ronald March’s twin brother —were arrested for various wildlife violations. Thomas March, 46, and Mark B. Mutzbauer, 42, both of Springfield, and Donnie L. Self, 34, of Rushville were released at the time of their arrests.

On Wednesday, Mutzbauer pleaded guilty to taking a turkey out of season and was fined $500. Self was fined $150 for shooting across a roadway and $250 for taking a protected species.

The hearing for Thomas March will be held at a future date in Sangamon County.

Operation Scab Hollow — named after the road Ronald March lives on in rural Schuyler County— began in December 2000 as an undercover investigation of illegal taxidermy.

"Ronald March did not have a license to do taxidermy, and we had an agent taking wildlife there to be mounted as part of the investigation," the agent said. "Once you get accepted in a ring like this, it’s easy to learn about other illegal activity, and that’s how this case was built."

Incidentally, while Ronald March was allegedly illegally performing taxidermy, his twin brother Thomas is a licensed taxidermist.

With the help of the Secretary of State Police, search and arrest warrants were executed in Sangamon and Schuyler counties April 12. Seized in the sting were a stolen ATV and a stolen Polar Kraft boat, reports said. Also found were numerous firearms, 76 marijuana plants, illegal wildlife and illegal game mounts, authorities said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has joined in the investigation, and federal charges may be filed against the men.

Ralph Loos can be reached at 788-1528 or ralph.loos@sj-r.com.
 

Latest Posts

Top Bottom