Four Face Multiple Charges in Fort Campbell Poaching Case

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
<i>TWRA officers Jereme Odom and Dale Grandstaff stand in front of the confiscated trophies. Also pictured are (from center to right) Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources Officers Ken Richards and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers Jason Godwin and Jeremy Curtis.</i>
TWRA officers Jereme Odom and Dale Grandstaff stand in front of the confiscated trophies. Also pictured are (from center to right) Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources Officers Ken Richards and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers Jason Godwin and Jeremy Curtis.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. --- Four Tennessee men are facing a litany of federal and state charges for killing trophy sized white-tailed deer primarily off Fort Campbell Military Installation. Trespassing in the area where the crimes were committed is prohibited, but wooded habitat and a lack of hunting pressure creates an ideal home for mature and impressive bucks.

Tennessee and Kentucky agencies and Fort Campbell military police worked together to investigate what has apparently been years of poaching activity as the suspects actually risked their own lives by sneaking onto the impact area of Fort Campbell where the military has munitions training. Despite the dangers of entering an area where unexploded ordinance is common, the lure of bucks with massive antlers apparently created an overwhelming temptation.

“They were taking their chances and they were having success,” noted Dale Grandtstaff, who along with fellow Montgomery County officer Jereme Odom, helped apprehend two of the suspects on Nov. 26. A press conference was held Dec. 17 near Fort Campbell with the TWRA officers, two U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers, and a Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources officer available for the media.

“Deer are not endangered in Tennessee, but these guys were going onto an area where others aren’t allowed to hunt and basically deciding that Fort Campbell’s no trespassing signs didn’t apply to them, nor did any wildlife laws,” said Grandstaff. “There are a lot of real sportsmen who would like a chance to hunt big bucks, but they follow the rules.”

Odom said many of the bucks were taken to a taxidermist and mounted as trophies, which only helped to “perpetuate” the illegal acts as the suspects’ collection of big mounts grew.

“They were poaching, but they were showing these animals off as trophies to be proud of,” said Odom. “Honest hunters would never take pride in killing a deer illegally, but we will probably always have a small percentage (of those) who cheat.”

Odom said it was officers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stationed on Fort Campbell that notified him and Grandstaff (along with other agencies and military police) that they had spotted two men entering the impact area on the 26th.

A foot search eventually culminated with Grandstaff and Odom confronting 43-year-old Jim Edward Page of Clarksville. After a brief discussion with Page, the officers also got 45-year-old Curtis Wallace of Dover—who was pursuing deer in the same general location—to admit he was trespassing.

“This began several weeks of investigations that has led us to two more suspects,” said Odom. “We have collected 41 deer mounts or antlers from the current suspect’s homes and we are still investigating the case.”

The investigation also turned up 43-year-old Wendell Taylor of the Big Rock community in Stewart County, and 41-year-old Gregory Crokarell of Dover.

“Taylor has similar charges as those that Page and Wallace are facing, while Crokarell has a couple of similar charges, but will also face aiding and abetting violations because we believe he took the deer to taxidermists for mounting,” said Odom.

Wallace has already agreed to a settlement in Stewart County General Sessions Court on multiple charges. Wallace lost his hunting privileges for seven years, was ordered to pay court costs and fines of $2,500, was placed on one year of probation, and ordered to surrender his treasured deer mounts, worth thousands of dollars. Wallace also faces a long list of charges by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and possible charges by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Page and Taylor have general session court dates in January and face multiple charges of and have pending federal charges against them and possible prosecution coming from Kentucky officials. Crokarell has a general sessions court date set for January in Tennessee.

Fort Campbell Military Installation straddles the Tennessee and Kentucky state lines, a reason why so many agencies became involved in the investigation.

“This is one of the largest deer poaching busts ever made in Tennessee,” noted Odom. “It certainly has to stand out as perhaps the largest big deer busts ever made. We appreciate all the agencies and personnel who have spent time on this case working to collect information.”


State Parks Hosting Tennessee Serves, Extended National Public Lands Day Events Beginning Sept. 25

Master Gardeners Of Hamilton County Fall Garden Festival Is Sept. 25

Chattanooga Park Stewards Hosts Environmental Stewardship Event On Public Lands Day, Sept. 25


Tennessee State Parks will host volunteer events starting Saturday through the month of October in support of First Lady Maria Lee’s Tennessee Serves monthly challenge. “The relationship ... (click for more)

The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County, in association with the University of Tennessee Extension, are holding a “Fall Garden Festival” on Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. outdoors around the ... (click for more)

In honor of Public Lands Day this Saturday, Chattanooga Park Stewards will host an environmental stewardship event from 9 a.m.-noon at the Stinger's Ridge, Spears Avenue trailhead. There will ... (click for more)



Outdoors

State Parks Hosting Tennessee Serves, Extended National Public Lands Day Events Beginning Sept. 25

Tennessee State Parks will host volunteer events starting Saturday through the month of October in support of First Lady Maria Lee’s Tennessee Serves monthly challenge. “The relationship between Tennessee Serves and Tennessee State Parks is a natural fit, and we are excited to continue this partnership for a third year,” First Lady Lee said. “We are grateful to the many volunteers ... (click for more)

Master Gardeners Of Hamilton County Fall Garden Festival Is Sept. 25

The Master Gardeners of Hamilton County, in association with the University of Tennessee Extension, are holding a “Fall Garden Festival” on Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. outdoors around the Hamilton County Extension Ag Center and Bonny Oaks Arboretum, 6183 Adamson Circle, off Bonny Oaks Drive. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free. Free parking is available. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Jury Deliberates 13 Hours With No Verdict Yet In Janet Hinds Case; To Resume Saturday Morning

The Nashville jurors in the Janet Hinds case deliberated 13 hours on Friday before stopping for the night. The panel was to resume talks at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Jurors reported making good progress an hour before they were dismissed for the night by Judge Don Poole. But they returned an hour later still without a verdict. Ms. Hinds is charged in the February 2019 traffic ... (click for more)

6 Juveniles Arrested For Theft And Shooting Of K9 Joker To Be Detained Until Hearing

Six juveniles (ages 13-17 years old), who were arrested for their criminal involvement in auto burglaries and shooting of BCSO K9 Joker, attended an arraignment hearing on Friday. They were ordered to be held at the Bradley County Juvenile Detention Center until their detention hearing next Thursday. Prior to their arraignment, the Cleveland Police Department charged them ... (click for more)

Opinion

Why Is All The New Building Not Saving Us From A 40-Cent City Property Tax Increase? - And Response

With the number of homes, apartments and condos built downtown, why is a 40 percent property tax increase necessary? Are these new structures on the paying property tax role? I need to know what’s going on downtown and why isn’t that money benefiting the city? Georgia Vaughn * * * The answer is that tax exemptions for these projects have been given out freely and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Degradation Of Nurses

Debbie Moore-Black, is a registered nurse whose blogs regularly appear on the medical news website, KevinMD.com. With the unearthly demands of COVID and historic lack of concern for the nursing populace, she wrote this week on the degradation and the devaluation of the nation’s nursing force. Perhaps we should all listen: * * * TIME WILL TELL IF LESSONS WILL BE LEARNED ... (click for more)