Three men charged with crimes against wildlife
Published 4:09 pm Sunday, March 25, 2001
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
Officers with Alabama Wildlife and Fresh Water Fishery arrested three men earlier this week on a variety of charges after finding carcasses of animals at a home outside of Atmore.
Wayne Martin, 24-year-old, of 113 Swift St.; Terry D. Edwards, 33-year-old, of 71 McCoy Dr. and Charles W. Phillips, 49-year-old, also of 71 McCoy Dr. have all been arrested and charged with a total of 18 crimes.
Game Warden Todd Pipkin said the incident began on Monday when the Atmore Police Department received a disturbance call. Upon reaching the residence in question, they called in the Escambia County Sheriff's Office as the home was out of their jurisdiction.
Pipkin said the officers told him that when they arrived there was no disturbance, but that they did see a door open. For their safety, a deputy and the police officers entered the home to see if anyone was inside. Inside the house, the officers allegedly found Phillips hiding under some clothing in a closet.
According to Pipkin, another officer searched the backyard while the others checked inside. The deputy told Pipkin he found several freshly killed deer carcasses that had been gutted behind the house.
Upon his arrival on the scene, Pipkin interviewed Phillips.
The driver of the truck, Martin, was arrested and charged with possession of protected game during a closed season. In addition to those charges, Pipkin said a "small amount of marijuana" was found inside the vehicle. He was also charged with possession of marijuana, second degree.
The wildlife enforcement officers also arrested Phillips at that time and charged him with five counts of possession of protected game during a closed season (deer) and one count of possession of protected game during a closed season (turkey).
Pipkin took the men to the county jail and obtained a search warrant for the home while Tharp stayed at the scene to prevent tampering of evidence. Upon executing the warrant, with help from the 21st Judicial Drug Task Force, the officers found three firearms, a small amount of marijuana more and other evidence that Pipkin described as "tending to indicate illegal hunting."
Additional charges were filed against Phillips for one count of possession of protected game during a closed season (rabbit) and possession of marijuana, second degree.
Information obtained during the investigation also led to the arrest of Edwards, who also lived at the McCoy residence. Law enforcement officials found Edwards Monday and charged him with five counts of possession of protected game during a closed season (deer), one count of possession of protected game during a closed season (turkey), another count of possession of protected game during a closed season (rabbit) and possession of marijuana, second degree.
Pipkin said the case is still under investigation and that further charges are anticipated.