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Iowa Conservation Officers concluded a six-month-long investigation into felony weapons charges and wildlife poaching violations involving a deer hunting party in Johnson and Linn counties.
The case began with a TIP (Turn in Poachers) call to conservation officers about a buck deer that was unlawfully shot from the roadway onto private property in northern Johnson County in December 2020. The ensuing investigation uncovered a variety of deer poaching violations that occurred over several years. Multiple violations occurred in 2020 including: hunting out of season, hunting without proper licenses, wanton waste of wildlife, overlimiting, unlawful method of take, tagging and reporting violations, illegal waterfowl hunting, and felon in possession of a firearm. The case resulted in a total of one felony weapons charge, 57 hunting related charges, and multiple written warnings to a hunting group made up of four individuals.
Larry Jones (Cedar Rapids), a convicted felon, pleaded guilty to 10 hunting related charges and is awaiting trial for a felony weapons charge in Linn County. Jones faces 30 additional hunting related charges in Johnson County and is currently awaiting trial. Steve Sinnett (Swisher), pleaded guilty to 13 hunting related charges in Johnson County. Tania Holdren (Cedar Rapids) pleaded guilty to four deer hunting charges in Johnson County. Shane Yarrington (Cedar Rapids) pleaded guilty to one deer hunting charge in Johnson County.
Iowa DNR conservation officers encourage the public to continue to use the Turn In Poachers hotline (1-800-532-2020) and website (https://programs.iowadnr.gov/tip/) to report fish and wildlife crimes.