DA Hoovler:Arrest in Illegal Trout Fishing and Sale Case

August 19, 2023

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler Announces Arrest for Illegal Trout Fishing and Sale

Defendant Charged with Four Counts of Violations of Environmental Conservation Law

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that Robert Everett, 55, of Cuddebackville, was arrested on July 7, 2023 and charged with three counts of Illegal Commercialization of Fish, Shellfish, Crustaceans and Wildlife and one count of Possession Over the Limit in violation of sections of the New York State Environmental Conservation Laws.  The charges arise from an investigation that Everett was selling and offering for sale wild caught trout in violation of state law.  As the charges were not bail eligible under 2019 “bail reform” legislation, Everett was issued an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Deerpark Justice Court.

As alleged in charging documents filed in court, Everett sold hundreds of dollars’ worth of wild caught trout on various dates in May 2023.  On May 24, 2023, after selling a quantity of trout, he offered to sell additional trout.  On May 24, 2023, the Department of Environmental Conservation Police executed a search warrant at Everett’s residence and recovered trout that was valued at more than $480.  In total, the police recovered just under forty (40) pounds of trout with a value of more than $700.

Earlier this year, on March 31, 2023, Everett was issued two summonses for Illegal Possession of Fish and Taking Fish Out of Season after he was caught fishing along the Neversink River prior to the start of the legal trout season.

If convicted of the four charges, Everett faces up to a fine of $5,000 and one-year incarceration.   

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Law Enforcement who investigated and arrested Everett with assistance from members of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the New York State Police.

“Enjoying our natural resources is a shared privilege and also a shared responsibility,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “The laws enacted to protect wildlife apply to everyone who seeks to partake in outdoor activities.  Where, as is alleged in this case, an individual seeks to profit in violation of the laws meant to protect wildlife, law enforcement will look to hold those responsible to account for their actions.”

A criminal charge is merely an allegation by the police that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.