Three men have been charged in federal court after being caught hunting white tail deer illegally on Fort Riley in off-limit training areas where explosives are routinely discharged, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Gregory J. Frikken, age 55 of Wamego, is charged with one count of criminal trespass, two counts of conspiracy to commit criminal trespass, four counts of Lacey Act violations, one count of conspiracy to commit Lacey Act violations.
James C. Nunley, age 32 of Wamego, is charged with five counts of Lacey Act violations, one count of criminal trespass and one count of conspiracy to commit criminal trespass.
Michael J. Smith, age 55 of Watertown, N.Y., is charged with one count of criminal trespass, one count of conspiracy to commit criminal trespass, three counts of Lacey Act violations, one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act.
The charges, which are misdemeanors, allege the men violated the Lacey Act while hunting on Fort Riley over the course of the last few years.
An investigator’s affidavit alleges the men ignored posted “off-limits” area, coming to the area before daylight and leaving after it had grown dark.
Investigators gathered evidence such as deer mounts, antlers, phone data and equipment allegedly used to harvest eight whitetail deer, three of which are considered trophy class.
If the men are convicted, they could face up to a year in jail, a maximum fine of up to $10,000, and a mandatory $25 special assessment fee for each Lacey Act Violation. This could include civil forfeiture and the loss of federal hunting privileges.
Agencies assisting in the investigation include the Directorate of Emergency Services, Fort Riley Conservation Law Enforcement Officers, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the New York State Environmental Conservation Office. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin A. Graham.