TWRA Arrests 2 in ''Operation Jawbreaker''

''...approximately 155 wild turkeys had been illegally killed ...''

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has wrapped up a five-month undercover investigation into illegal hunting activities in and around Sumner County that has resulted in the arrest of two individuals, Richard Duffer and Jeffrey Caldwell.

Dubbed “Operation Jawbreaker,” the investigation began in December 2008 based upon a citizen complaint. During the course of the investigation, wildlife officers documented that approximately 155 wild turkeys had been illegally killed and/or possessed by two Sumner County residents.

Three white-tailed deer were also killed and possessed illegally, according to the agency.

On May 2, 2009, TWRA’s Area 21 wildlife officers, along with other agency enforcement personnel, executed a search warrant at a residence located in Westmoreland and gathered evidence concerning multiple violations of wildlife laws.

The case was presented to a Sumner County Grand Jury and true bills were found on multiple counts charging Richard Duffer, of Westmoreland, and Jeffrey Caldwell of Gallatin, with poaching crimes that include hunting wildlife from a public road, killing wildlife out of seasons, killing wildlife in excess of the limit, and illegal possession of killed wildlife.


Richard Duffer, arrested in ''Operation Jawbreaker''


Jeffrey Caldwell, arrested in ''Operation Jawbreaker''

TWRA officers arrested Duffer and Caldwell on June 9 after the Sumner County Grand Jury issued true bills indicting them for the poaching charges.

The bond for each man has been set at $7,500.

Sumner County District Attorney Ray Whitley, who is prosecuting the case, said “Officers of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency did an excellent job in their undercover investigation of this case and this indictment highlights the type of wildlife abuses they investigate every day. I am glad that this case is now in criminal court so that justice can be done.”

The case will be heard in Sumner County Criminal Court in the coming months, according to the attorney general.

“The TWRA appreciates the information from the concerned citizens that initiated “Operation Jawbreaker” and takes violations of this magnitude seriously as it continues its work to protect and properly manage Tennessee’s wildlife resources for all citizens,” said Ed Carter, TWRA Executive Director.

The TWRA has a hotline for concerned citizens to report possible poaching violations. The number is 1-800-255-8972.


2015-16 Sport Fishing Regulations Postponed Until December Meeting

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission postponed decisions on the 2015-16 sport fish regulations until its December meeting. The action came during the commission’s Oct. 29-20 meeting held in Greeneville at the General Morgan Hotel Conference Center. The TFWC also proposed an amendment to the sport fishing regulations (proclamation 14-17) that would change regulations to ... (click for more)

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Announces New Strategic Plan To Ensure A Bright Future

The  Appalachian Trail Conservancy   has announced a five-year strategic plan that will advance the health and long-term management of the Appalachian Trail. The plan, which was the culmination of a two-year collaborative process between the ATC and the ATC’s board of directors, is a vision and strategy that will build on the organization’s stewardship of the trail ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Under Hard Freeze Warning As Winter Comes Early

The Chattanooga area was under a freeze warning as winter rushed in early. The biting weather came as crew members were about to hit the water for the annual Head of the Hooch at Ross's Landing. Here is the warning: ...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM EST /2 AM CST/ TO 9 AM EST /8 AM CST/ SUNDAY ... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

Time To Fix The TIFs

What if Chattanooga policy makers and taxpayers used several recent business announcements as a wakeup call to learn more about how our community decides what companies get property tax breaks? If enough people accept this assignment, it just might result in the adoption of some sound policies and procedures to guide us in the future. We read in the newspapers this week that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In November

As the first day of November arrives today, it is cold enough in my garden to officially certify that fall has fell! There are even signs of ice on the ground but there is a bounty crop of acorns so, in keeping with our monthly tradition, some will get shiny acorns and others will get a chunk of cold ice: A SHINY ACORN for Patriots football coach Bill Belichick for scoffing at ... (click for more)