Poaching ring to be charged with 41 counts
By Nick Simonson
Criminal charges are expected to be filed against six Barnes County men for their involvement in the illegal taking of big game and other wildlife-related violations in recent months throughout the county.
The violations allegedly include the poaching of a number of whitetail deer. Combined, the complaints against the individuals are anticipated to allege 41 criminal charges in North Dakota’s Southeast Judicial District Court.
At the center of the group of six alleged poachers and abettors is Jakob Ashline, 23, of rural Valley City, who is facing 21 total counts including: violation of protection of big game animals, using artificial light in the taking of big game, violation of resident licensing requirements, tampering with evidence, providing false information to law enforcement, hunting big game without an appropriate big game license and violation of North Dakota’s big game proclamation.
“The total number [of deer at issue] I don’t have, a lot of people are looking for that,” said Tonya Duffy, Barnes County State’s Attorney, “the problem is there is a lot of deer and you can only prove so much, so I’m charging him with everything I can prove, which is six deer.”
Ashline currently is serving a sentence of 200 days in the Burleigh County Jail for an incident in September 2019 in which he allegedly told arresting Bismarck police officers “if I ever find you, I promise I’ll kill you.” Ashline was charged in the September incident with misdemeanor terrorizing, refusal to halt and simple assault, and ultimately pleaded guilty on February 26, 2020 to misdemeanor charges of menacing, refusal to halt, disorderly conduct and preventing arrest.