Delaware Natural Resources Police Arrest Individual for Drug and Firearms Related Charges

After investigation into an allegedly illegal taken deer case that occurred during the November firearm deer hunting season, Delaware Natural Resources Police arrested an individual for possession of firearms by a person prohibited.

On Nov. 29, Clinton B. Courtney, 68, of Little Creek was charged with 12 counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of possession of fentanyl.

Numerous search warrants were obtained for Courtney’s residence, resulting in the seizure of 12 firearms, illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.

As a result of the arrest, Courtney was issued a $49,500 unsecured bond and committed to the Sussex Violation of Probation Center for violating his probation. Courtney has a preliminary hearing scheduled in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Brooke Mitchell, brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov

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Delaware Natural Resources Police Arrest Two Individuals for Hunting and Firearms Related Charges

Delaware Natural Resources Police arrested two individuals during the opening weekend of shotgun deer season who were both hunting after being convicted of felony charges in the state of Delaware.

On November 12, Brian L. Dill, 47, of Lincoln who was previous convicted of felony theft was charged with three counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited, two counts of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited, one count of no hunter orange, and one count of possession or transportation of an unlawfully taken antlerless deer.

On November 13, John W. Hitch, 81, of Seaford who was previously convicted of felony possession of child pornography was charged with ten counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited and one count of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited.

Separate consent searches of the residence for both Brian Dill and John Hitch resulted in the seizure of a total of ten firearms, three crossbows, and numerous rounds of ammunition.

As a result of the arrests, Brian Dill was released on $19,002 unsecured bond and John Hitch was released on $26,000 unsecured bond. Both have preliminary hearings scheduled in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Brooke Mitchell, brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov


DNREC Natural Resources Police Make Arrests in Stolen Vessel Incident

Matthew Tortu

DNREC Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Matthew Tortu, 24, and Travis Gooding, 21, both of Coatsville, Pennsylvania on August 22 for multiple felony criminal charges and boating violations in response to and after investigating a report of a stolen vessel.

The suspects were allegedly observed before daybreak on August 22 in a vessel aground on a sand bar in the Indian River Bay by other boaters in the area who reported the incident and that the vessel occupants were not the owners of the subject vessel. Natural Resources Police officers responded to the report and arrested Tortu and Gooding at the site upon determining that the Maritime Skiff vessel had been stolen earlier that morning from Tuckahoe Acres where it was moored.

Tortu and Gooding were both charged with one count each of felony theft, felony conspiracy, criminal mischief, no boating safety certification, no navigation lights and negligent operation of a motor vessel. Gooding was also charged with one count of failure to maintain a proper lookout.

Travis Gooding

Tortu was arraigned by video phone with Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on an unsecured bond of $4,040, pending a future court appearance in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.

Gooding was arraigned by video phone with Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on an unsecured bond of $4,050, pending a future court appearance in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.

Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

The public is encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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DNREC Natural Resources Police Make Arrests in Wildlife Animal Cruelty Case

Richard Bunting

DNREC Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Richard Bunting, 20, of Frankford on July 9 and two juveniles on July 13 and charged them with multiple deer poaching and with felony charges, following an investigation into a reported wildlife animal cruelty incident that occurred July 8 in the Hudson Road area near Gumboro.

The incident allegedly involved Bunting and two juveniles video recording themselves intentionally hitting a deer with a motor vehicle and continuing to perform cruel acts on the deer, which ultimately resulted in its death. Bunting and the two juveniles were charged with one count each of felony cruelty to animals, felony conspiracy second degree, hunting deer during a closed season, possessing or transporting an unlawfully killed antlerless deer, unlicensed hunting and underage possession of alcohol.

Bunting was arraigned via video with Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach and released on his own recognizance pending future court appearances in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas. The two juveniles were released to their parents and are awaiting arraignment with Family Court in Georgetown.

Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the State bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

The public is encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt or using the DENRP Tip app; Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov

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Dover man arrested on poaching and criminal charges

DOVER, Del. – A Dover man was arrested March 3 on multiple poaching and criminal charges following an investigation by DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police.

On Feb. 15, a Fish & Wildlife officer responded to a complaint near Smyrna regarding a shot fired from a pickup truck toward hunters who were in a field amidst snow goose decoys. The vehicle from which the shot was fired was seen later driving through and making ruts in the field occupied by the goose hunters.

Ryan Permelia, 28, was charged with one count each of hunting from a motor vehicle, hunting snow goose without required conservation order season permit, possession of prohibited lead shot while hunting migratory waterfowl, carrying an unlawfully loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, reckless endangering first degree, criminal mischief under $1,000, and criminal trespass third degree. Permelia was arraigned through Justice of the Peace Court 2 and released on his own recognizance, pending a future court appearance in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.

The investigation is continuing as officers seek the identity of two persons of interest who were passengers in Permelia’s vehicle at the time of the incident. If you have information about this incident, please contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Officer Cpl. Nathan Rust by emailing nathan.rust@delaware.gov.

About DNREC

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish & Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov

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