Copiah County men face alligator poaching charges

Four Arrested After Illegally Killing an Alligator

Jackson – On Saturday, Aug. 27, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Conservation Officers arrested four people in conjunction with the illegal killing and possession of an alligator.

Cpl. Craig Walker and MSgt. Allen Patrick received information on the illegal killing of alligators on the Pearl River in Copiah County near the Lawrence County line. Officers Walker and Patrick were patrolling around midnight when they pulled over a suspicious vehicle. The officers discovered the torso of an alligator in the back of the truck. Officers found blood on the subjects clothing and two .22 rifles in the truck with spent shell casings.

Following an extensive investigation and two confessions, four people were arrested on two misdemeanor charges each. Spencer Allan Pell of Vicksburg, Johnny B. Dow of Crystal Springs, Michael Dwayne Easterling, and Christian Collins both from Wesson were charged with illegal possession of an alligator and illegally killing an alligator. Along with Officers Walker and Patrick, MDWFP Officers MSgt Mike Jones, Cpl. Daniel Sinclair, and Lt. Kallum Herrington assisted in the investigation.

Illegal killing of an alligator is a Class I misdemeanor and carries a maximum fine of $5,000, loss of hunting and fishing privileges for not less than one year, and five days in the county jail.

Illegal possession an alligator is a Class II misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $500. 

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