Call to Operation Game Thief hotline yields poaching arrest

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) credits public cooperation, investigative work, and an anonymous tip for a major poaching arrest near the Lake of the Ozarks.

Throughout the month of October, conservation agents who work the area near the Lake of the Ozarks responded to multiple complaints of dead deer with only the heads, tenderloins, and other parts removed.

Thankfully, one call to the Operation Game Thief (OGT) hotline ultimately led investigators to a suspect in the Tuscumbia area who now faces a litany of charges in Miller and Shannon counties.

Harold P. Piatt, 23, faces 14 misdemeanor charges for the illegal take of deer with the aid of artificial light and take of deer during closed season, two misdemeanor charges of illegal possession of wildlife parts, one misdemeanor charge of taking furbearers in closed season, as well as both misdemeanor and felony drug possession and drug paraphernalia charges. 

Each wildlife misdemeanor charge comes with a potential fine of as much as $2,000 and/or one year in jail.  

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