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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    State troopers sentenced for poaching deer on duty

    Two Michigan State Police troopers have been sentenced to jail and fined for poaching deer while on duty.
    District Judge Maria Barton says Jeff Hadley not only shot a deer with his hunting rifle while on patrol in November, he lied and told a fellow trooper that the blood in his vehicle was from road kill. He even claimed he had delivered the meat to a needy family, she said.
    She sentenced Hadley on Friday to four days in jail and fellow trooper Dan Bolen, who she says was less culpable, to two days.
    The two will split more than $6,500 in fines and will also each pay court costs topping $3,000 and do 100 hours of community service. They will lose hunting privileges until 2013.
    Both apologized during their sentencings.

  2. #2
    BigDawg's Avatar
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    Was it that boring for them on duty that they went hunting?? I hope the state pulled their certifications also, there is no excuse for doing something like that on duty.
    "An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper


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  3. #3
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    While what these guys did was bullshit and wrong...really? Four days in jail? $6500 in fines? Court cost of 3K? 100 HOURS of community service?? That all seems a little ridiculous when routine first-time non-violent FELONY offenders get probation sentences for felony theft, PCS, etc.

    As for the lies he told, was it a criminal investigator asking the questions? The article said "fellow trooper" so that could be anyone.

    BigDawg, we'll have to agree to disagree with the pulling certification issue as well. I don't think that the offense is really worth outing two cops on their ass in this economy. People do bonehead shit, and I don't think this rises quite to the level of losing your career.

    I dunno, punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime for hunting on the clock. Just MHO.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

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    The punishment for the crime is severely out of proportion.

  5. #5
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    I'd also like to know where they worked. It'd be more fucked up if they were assigned to an urban area and left their sectors to actually go hunting, etc. Even then, that's something for the agency to discipline them about. It shouldn't matter to the criminal case.

    Or was this a case where they are assigned to BFE anyway, pulled off the side of a highway, went into the woods a ways, and shot the thing? I want to know more about why they were sentenced so harshly.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  6. #6
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    From cheboygannews.com

    Two Michigan State Police Troopers from the Cheboygan Post went to jail Friday after being sentenced for poaching deer while on duty.
    Jeff Hadley and Don Bolen will also pay hefty fines, lose their hunting privileges until 2013 and serve 100 hours of community service time apiece.
    Cheboygan County 89th District Court Judge Maria Barton sentenced Bolen to two days in jail with credit for one day served. Hadley, who fired his own hunting rifle to shoot a buck Nov. 12 while on patrol off Mograin Road in Benton Township, received a four-day jail sentence with credit for one day served.
    “I would like to apologize to the court and to my family,” Bolen said before sentence was passed. His attorney, Michael Hackett, described the poaching incident as “a life-altering event; a career-altering event.”
    “You broke the law while on duty, in uniform and while in a police vehicle as you were being paid by Michigan taxpayers to enforce the law,” Barton told Bolen. “This case violates the public’s trust. It is important for the community to know that everyone is accountable.”
    Hadley’s attorney, Joseph Kwiatkowski, pointed out his client’s military service and two lifesaving incidents involving Hadlley diving into water to rescue a victim and entering a burning building to save the life of a firefighter.
    “I could go on and on about the admirable things that Jeff Hadley has done as a police officer,” Kwiatkowski said. “That’s the true nature of Jeff Hadley’s character, not the man who exercised poor judgment last fall. He has already received more sanctions than the average guy in these circumstances. Lady Justice judges us with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other — but while blindfolded. All I’m asking is that you keep the blindfold on and sentence him for the crime he committed, not for who he is or where he works.”
    (<<<<<Bolding is my own editing)
    Barton pointed to Hadley’s involvement as being pre-meditated and dishonest.
    “I happen to disagree with your attorney as the Court knows you as the more culpable person in this case,” Barton said in her decision. “It seemed to be a calculated plan on your part. It’s not as if you happened upon the deer, because you brought your personal gun along and you pulled the trigger. Then, when questioned by a fellow Trooper about deer hair and blood in the vehicle, you lied and said it was road kill and that you had delivered the meat to a needy family. You even kept the rack.” (NO SHIT IS WAS CALCULATED! Pretty sure he committed an offense requiring an 'intentionally' or 'knowingly' state of mind. So because he did it on purpose and later tried to cover his ass, you're sending him to jail? Madame Judge, get real.)
    “I apologize to the court, the citizens of Cheboygan County, my department and most of all my family,” Hadley said.
    Fines in the case will be $6,606.70 in DNR costs while investigating the case, to be split by the pair. In addition, each will pay $3,105 in court costs. The weapons used in the incident were forfeited, court records show.
    While an MSP Internal Affairs investigation continues, Bolen and Hadley have remained on the job, but with limited duties. Bolen is temporarily working out of the post at St. Ignace and Hadley is at Sault Ste. Marie. Both will eventually be transferred from Cheboygan.
    “Police officers are sworn to uphold the law,” Cheboygan County Prosecutor Daryl Vizina said. “It’s unacceptable to have an officer break the law while on duty.”

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Seems to me they were made an example of. The comments are hilarious...saying the cops got off light when the average joe would get "90 days". LOL Must not be a lot of real crime floating around.

    This sounds like a newly-elected judge making her name at the expense of a couple of troopers who pulled a dumbshit stunt. She just wanted to make a splash by actually putting cops in jail for a couple of days. Sucks to be them...don't feel a whole lot of sympathy for them getting caught, but I think the sentence is ludicrous. I'd like to see what other people charged with poaching are sentenced to, since it doesn't seem like they were charged with any unbecoming conduct-type offenses.

    Oh well...Cheboygan County, according to stats on the internet, has less than 30K population in nearly 900 sq. miles. No offense to anyone here who works in a similar county, but it doesn't sound as if the place is a hot bed of criminal activity.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  7. #7
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    I agree with 121. These guys got the short end of the stick.

    I agree with punishing them, internally and criminally. But the punishment does not fit the crime.

    Typically around here for a 1st AND 2nd big game poaching offense they lose the animal they shot, their gun, lose their hunting privileges for I think five years, and typically no more than 500 dollars in fines. 3rd offense MAY lead to jail time...but rarely. Typically by the third time, probation gets added on to the above.
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  8. #8
    10-42Adam's Avatar
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    Although what they did was wrong, I agree with everyone else here and feel like their punishment was a bit harsh. Violent felons get off easier than these two which makes no sense at all...
    Calm Like A Bomb...

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  9. #9
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    I agree that the punishment seems harsh. Especially when we all know that most first offenders don't get squat.

    That being said, what these 2 Troopers did was incredibly stupid. Poaching deer while on duty and using your patrol vehicle as part of the act is totally unacceptable. Were the Troopers held to a higher standard? Yes As someone that enforces the law I feel you should be held to a higher standard. A citizen can play ignorant of the law but a LEO can't as they know better. They arrest people for the same crime.

  10. #10
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    I have never hunted on duty, but there are beats where I have gotten out on foot patrol and gotten within 15-20 of deer. I have even gotten some good dash cam footage. The punishment was harsh and it served a purpose....to propel the careers of the judge, and prosecutor. If all criminals were punished with the same level of severity they would not be out of jail before I have finished all my paperwork. I also agree with Darin though, we should be held to a higher standard. All to often that standard is set high in punishing us, but not in defending us. Funny how that works out.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

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  11. #11
    213th's Avatar
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    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
    He who signs the cheques, makes the rules.
    He who makes the rules, has the power.
    He who has the power, has the money.

  12. #12
    213th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic View Post
    I dunno, punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime for hunting on the clock. Just MHO.
    Was it just hunting on the clock, or poaching (hunting out of season or without a license) I've read of similar punishments for poaching, albeit in a different state. I don't know if a jail sentence is par for the course on first time poaching offenses in Michigan though
    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
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  13. #13
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    Poaching is a pretty serious crime in Oregon. A dumbshit on my dept got caught spotlighting deer. He lost his pickup and rifle, plus got hit with a pretty stiff fine. The dept didn't do anything to him, I guess they figured he learned his lesson.

    Jail time seems way excessive. Cops always get hit harder in court. I wonder if they'll keep their jobs after this. That was pretty stupid no matter how you look at it.
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  14. #14
    BigDawg's Avatar
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    Maybe I was a bit harsh on them but;

    I guess I look at it a bit differently. I feel that all LEO should be held to the highest standards, and I'm always thinking of what actions I take and how that would effect myself, my Department, and my community. This includes both on and off duty. I get really upset when a fellow LEO does something stupid and makes all of look bad.

    To me it doesn't matter if they are assigned to a busy area or to BFF where there is nothing to do. They are charged with patrolling that area, if its to slow for them then transfer. I will agree that the punishment for the act of the poaching seems severe except; They planned this out. He brought his hunting rifle and planned to comit this on duty. Then used his police car to transport the deer. Finally he lied about it when asked by a fellow officer. I know of other officers who have lost their jobs for lying about things alot less severe than this.

    These officers had a great great career going and had been highly decorated. Its to bad that all that is basically over, they will always be remembered for this poaching act and not for the lives they saved.

    Maybe my standards are to high for this profession and for myself but I dont think so. I would ask each of you to go back and re-read the polic officers oath and again tell me that they didnt violate the publics trust and break the oath. I dont perse agree to the jail time, but I stand behind the decision for them to lose their jobs.
    "An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper


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  15. #15
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    They should have pled self defense. Our SO lost 3 patrol cars in a week to deer.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDawg View Post
    Maybe I was a bit harsh on them but;

    I guess I look at it a bit differently. I feel that all LEO should be held to the highest standards, and I'm always thinking of what actions I take and how that would effect myself, my Department, and my community. This includes both on and off duty. I get really upset when a fellow LEO does something stupid and makes all of look bad.

    To me it doesn't matter if they are assigned to a busy area or to BFF where there is nothing to do. They are charged with patrolling that area, if its to slow for them then transfer. I will agree that the punishment for the act of the poaching seems severe except; They planned this out. He brought his hunting rifle and planned to comit this on duty. Then used his police car to transport the deer. Finally he lied about it when asked by a fellow officer. I know of other officers who have lost their jobs for lying about things alot less severe than this.

    These officers had a great great career going and had been highly decorated. Its to bad that all that is basically over, they will always be remembered for this poaching act and not for the lives they saved.

    Maybe my standards are to high for this profession and for myself but I dont think so. I would ask each of you to go back and re-read the polic officers oath and again tell me that they didnt violate the publics trust and break the oath. I dont perse agree to the jail time, but I stand behind the decision for them to lose their jobs.
    I will respond more on this later as I'm out the door to dinner.

    With that said, I agree with you for the most part about being held to a higher standard. I think, however, that this is usually, and rightly, the case in terms of internal discipline. I dont think that just because you're a cop and you break the law that the courts should be able to sentence you disproportionately to non-LE offenders. I think that's patently unfair. I think if you commit a crime, you should get the same punishment for the most part as anyone else. If it happens to be a decertifiable offense, too bad. You lose your job. I think the "higher standards" should come from your job. Maybe you buy a week off. Maybe you're reassigned. Maybe you're fired for something the average employer could give two shits about. The bottom line is, unless I'm charged with some sort of conduct unbecoming offense, then don't sentence me differently because I'm a cop. I think that's bullshit. It would be different if being a cop while committing an offense was some sort of sentencing enhancer or aggrevator like DV, but it ain't. This is just another case of a judge imposing her not-so-humble opinion from the bench.

    The attorney said it best.
    He has already received more sanctions than the average guy in these circumstances. Lady Justice judges us with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other — but while blindfolded. All I’m asking is that you keep the blindfold on and sentence him for the crime he committed, not for who he is or where he works.”
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  17. #17
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    it was a real stupid thing to do, but not the crime of the century.

    we lock up career turds here who get suspended sentences for drive by shootings, robberies, and the like, and they are gonna throw a trooper in jail for this...WTF?
    in the warriors code there's no surrender, though his body says stop, his spirit cries...NEVER. deep in our souls, a quiet ember, knows its you against you, its the paradox that drives us all. its a battle of wills, in the heat of attack, its the passion that kills, and victory is yours alone.


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  18. #18
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    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
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