* "The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Clay County Prosecutors Office for cracking down on alleged poaching crimes committed at Prairie Grove Hunting Preserve, a pay-to-shoot facility for farm-reared game bids. The HSUS urges law enforcement to continue to aggressively investigate, and if warranted, prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.
"Illegal hunting crimes are not only devastating to wildlife, but also pose a grave risk to public safety. Immobilizing animals with spotlights and shooting them at night near public roads is not only incredibly unsporting, it could kill someone. With the help of citizens who report suspected wildlife violations to the state's tip line (1-800-TIP-IDNR), Indiana conservation officers are on the front lines of the valiant effort to apprehend and bring to justice those who wantonly exploit wild animals."
The statement came following a year-long investigation conducted by Indiana Conservation Officers, which resulted in arrest warrants for James L. Jacob, 37, Brazil, and Ronald Hayne, 62, Terre Haute, in regard to multiple alleged violations of wildlife laws.
Conservation officers alleged Jacob committed one class D felony, five class B misdemeanors, and 14 class C misdemeanors, and that Hayne committed eight class C misdemeanors.
The investigation alleged Jacob and Hayne aided clients in hunting illegally under their guidance.
The violations took place, according to officials, upon and around the area near the Prairie Grove Hunting Preserve, owned by Jacob, in addition to other areas of rural Clay County.
Hayne works as a guide for the business.
On Feb. 23, conservation officers seized firearms, vehicles and other evidence allegedly used in the illegal taking and transportation of wildlife. The vehicles and firearms are subject to forfeiture upon possible conviction.
Jacob and Hayne were both taken to the Clay County Justice Center, but both bonded out.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization -- backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28.
For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs.
For more information, log on to www.humanesociety.org.