Alabama Man Found Guilty of Federal Hunting Violations in Region 8

DECEMBER 7, 2004 - Posted at 4:25 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A man cited for misdemeanor federal hunting-related violations was found guilty of a felony for trying to get wildlife officers to believe he was an IRS agent who would audit them.

Patrick Clete Blankenship, 36, of Decatur, Alabama, was hunting in Poinsett County in northeast Arkansas on January 16 when state Game & Fish Commission officers approached his blind.

The officers found he had six white fronted speckled-belly geese when the limit was two, and they cited him for allegedly using lead shot and luring the geese with an illegal electronic calling device.  Those charges were misdemeanors.

A jury convicted Blankenship of three misdemeanor hunting violations, a misdemeanor charge of possessing a fake identification card and a felony charge of impersonating an IRS official.  Sentencing is pending.  He could get up to three years in prison.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)