By Jerry Feaser
PA Game Commission
Sometimes a Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) will be forced to spend days or weeks digging through trash illegally dumped on State Game Lands in attempt to apprehend the person or persons responsible. Sometimes it is the information about a case that can be, literally, dumped in a WCO’s lap that helps solve the crime.
Such was the case recently for Blair County WCO Steve Hanczar, who was presented with a series of photographs clearly showing the faces of those dumping trash on State Game Land 158, just below the Tipton Reservoir, as well as the license plates of the vehicles involved in the incident, earlier this spring.Based on the information and photographs, WCO Hanczar charged Roger Lee Lonsinger Sr., 49, of Tyrone, for littering.
On July 28, he pled guilty, and was ordered to pay a fine and court costs of $259.50. Also charged was Samuel Howard Brisbin, 59, of Tyrone, for assisting in the littering incident. Brisban also pled guilty on July 28, and was assessed a fine and court costs of $134.50. On July 11, prior to the guilty plea, Lonsinger and Brisban cleaned up the dump site on July 11, and Lonsinger incurred the cost of the clean up.While it took WCO Hanczar some time to coordinate a meeting with the two individuals, once he did they were presented the photographic evidence along with the prospect of an eyewitness willing to testify, if necessary.
Confronted with this information, Lonsinger and Brisban were cooperative and also cleaned up the site and disposed of the trash properly.“I have always been thankful for the great amount of public lands we have been blessed with here in Pennsylvania and have spent countless hours enjoying the many spectacular outdoor recreational opportunities they provide,” said the concerned sportsman.
“I was glad to be able to play a small part in helping to protect those resources. Wish more folks would do the same.”WCO Hanczar agreed on the need for information from the public in order to initiate or solve crimes on State Game Lands or crimes involving wildlife.
“Our State Game Lands are remote and consist of thousands of acres,” WCO Hanczar said. “We need the support and information of concerned, law-abiding citizens in order to be able to properly patrol State Game Lands. Some of these ‘convenient’ illegal dump sites are near waterways and are potential pollution sources to public water supplies for Tyrone and Altoona.
“We encourage residents to contact us as soon as they find something that warrants an investigation. We also need people to be willing to testify about what they see or find to successfully prosecute cases against those who should no regard for our wildlife or their habitats.”
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