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Tip to CPW leads to poaching conviction of two Colorado Springs - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Tip to CPW leads to poaching conviction of two Colorado Springs men

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

An anonymous tip to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers has led to the arrest and conviction of two Colorado Springs men for multiple crimes.

Just over a week ago, 33-year-old Yevgeniy Bikrev plead guilty to charges of illegal possession of wildlife, hunting on private property without permission, and hunting out of season. In addition to the wildlife crimes, Bikrev plead guilty to one count of possessing or manufacturing marijuana concentrate, a class three drug felony. This charge stemmed from evidence found after a search of his home by CPW officers. CPW said that he has been sentenced to three years supervised probation and 100 hours of community service. He is awaiting a hearing to see if he will lose his hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges, which is likely.

The second man arrested is 35-year-old Nicholas Stewart. CPW said he plead guilty to the same wildlife crimes as Bikrev. He was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation, 60 hours of community service, and a $1,156 fine. His hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges have been suspended for five years.

The case against Stewart and Bikrev stemmed from an "Operation Game Thief" tip CPW received in January of 2017.

CPW received an anonymous tip from a witness in the Ridgewood subdivision, six miles north of Woodland Park. The witness described seeing bloody drag marks across his driveway and alerted CPW. According to CPW, responding officers located a pool of blood, tire tracks, and a bloody, cross-bow arrow near the residence. Upon further investigation, CPW officers located beer bottles, and a pack of cigarettes with a gas station receipt inside.

The receipt led officers to a Colorado Springs gas station where they observed the men's pickup truck on surveillance video. CPW said that during a search of nearby neighborhoods, officers were able to locate the unique pickup truck at a residence. After obtaining a warrant for the home, CPW officers located parts of the poached deer inside the garage and house.

"This illustrates the importance of the timely reporting of suspicious activity by the public. With our limited staff, we can’t be everywhere. We need the public’s help stopping crimes against wildlife,” said Frank McGee, area wildlife manager.

Operation Game Thief is a CPW program that rewards citizens who turn in poachers. Witnesses can reach Operation Game Thief by calling, toll-free, 1-877-COLO-OGT (or 877-265-6648). Verizon cell phone users can dial #OGT. You can also send an email to CPW at game.thief@state.co.us??.

Callers do not have to reveal their names or testify in court. A $500 reward is offered for information on cases involving big game or endangered species, while $250 is offered for information on turkey and $100 for fishing and small game cases.

For more information, visit the CPW website.

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