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.


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Huck Finn Family Paddling Adventure  July 10   Join Outdoor Chattanooga on a  Huck Finn Family Paddling Adventure  on  Fri., July 10  from  5 to 8:30 p.m.  We'll paddle canoe pontoons ... (click for more)

Georgia Is 1 Of 3 State Agencies To Receive Grant through New RBFF Program

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) on Monday announced the recipients of its new State Innovative R3 Program Grants. The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department are the first three states to receive funds through this new grants program to support innovative and sustainable state marketing ... (click for more)

Muslim Advocacy Group Questions House Arrest For Signal Mountain Man Charged In Threats Against Muslim Village In New York

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, on Saturday questioned the release of a Signal Mountain man who admitted to planning what it called "a Charleston-style terror attack" on a Muslim community in New York. CAIR also called for stepped up protection for the community targeted in the plot. Judge ... (click for more)

Plumbers Bring Complaints To WWTA; Told New Contracts Are Ready

Several plumbers on Thursday brought complaints to a committee of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) and got little response other than being told that new contracts are ready. Kay Keefe of Keefe Plumbing said the small number of plumbing companies still participating in the program to repair leaky lines to homes, have long been operating without ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Tydings Is A Winner

One week from tomorrow the most important educator in the future of our community will start work as the new president of Chattanooga State. While I am normally cynical of beard-strokers and foundation-hungry dreamers who have little or no concept of the real world, I am convinced Flora Tydings will become the best thing to happen in our community in years. A grandmother with ... (click for more)