Former Mississippi wildlife conservation officer and brother convicted in “Operation Stone Duck - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Former Mississippi wildlife conservation officer and brother convicted in “Operation Stone Duck

Jackson, Miss - Stan Harris, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, Robert T. Oliveri, Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, and Don Brazil, Director of Law Enforcement for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP), announce that former MDWFP Conservation Officer Andy Elchos and his brother, Ted Elchos, were found guilty in federal court in Jackson, Mississippi, today of violating federal wildlife conservation laws.   Elchos and his brother were subjects under investigation in a joint state and federal undercover investigation that lasted more than two years known as "Operation Stone Duck." "Operation Stone Duck" is an ongoing joint investigation involving the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the U. S. Attorney's Office (USAO) and federal agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).   MDWFP undercover agents documented that Andy Elchos and Ted Elchos participated in an illegal waterfowl hunt that occurred in September 2006, shortly after Elchos had been named statewide "Officer of the Year" by the MDWFP. Andy Elchos was ultimately fired from his position as a MDWFP Conservation Officer in Hancock County, Mississippi as a result of information and evidence developed during the undercover investigation.    After a day-long trial, U. S. Magistrate James Sumner found the brothers guilty of five counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The brothers illegally hunted ducks with the aid of bait, killed teal in excess of the limit, and killed several ducks out of season. The evidence showed that Andy and Ted Elchos killed a total of 35 ducks in one day over bait at a time when the law only allowed four teal to be taken. Federal and state laws completely prohibit hunting migratory birds with the aid of bait at any time.   U. S. Magistrate Judge James Sumner ordered Andy Elchos to serve 30 days in federal prison, and ordered each of the brothers to pay a fine of $3,000 and to serve a term of two years probation. Both of them also lost all hunting privileges for a period of two years.    The "Operation Stone Duck" investigation also led to several felony convictions. Mark Necaise a/k/a "Scope" of Kiln, Mississippi was convicted for selling methamphetamine and poaching deer on Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Mississippi. He was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Samuel Necaise of Picayaune, Mississippi was also convicted of selling methamphetamine and poaching deer on Panther Swamp NWR. Samuel Necaise was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison. John W. Quevas, Jr. from Kiln, Mississippi was convicted of felony weapons charges, violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and poaching deer on Panther Swamp NWR. He was sentenced to six months incarceration and a $3,500 fine. Neal Necaise pled guilty to felony charges relating to the unlawful manufacture and possession of automatic weapons and was sentenced to fifteen months incarceration, 3 years of supervised release and a $5000 fine. Fifteen additional individuals pled guilty to violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for shooting migratory game birds with the aid of bait. During this investigation the agents learned that the subjects referred to former MDWFP Conservation Officer Andy Elchos as "The Boss." The investigation is ongoing.   "Anyone violating state and federal game laws in the state of Mississippi will be investigated and prosecuted," stated Robert T. Oliveri, Resident Agent in Charge of the USFWS.   "A Conservation Officer is expected to enforce and obey the same laws as any citizen in the State of Mississippi," said Don Brazil, Director of Law Enforcement for MDWFP.
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