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White City man sentenced for poaching

A White City man was ordered Thursday to pay $42,500 in restitution for the killing of a trophy bull elk in 2016 in Crater Lake National Park.

Adrian Duane Wood, 44, was sentenced also to six months in custody and three years of probation. Wood posted photos of his kill on Facebook, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Medford.

Federal prosecutors said they found evidence of numerous other poachings, and were able to link Wood to six butchered carcases found on protected lands, according to a sentencing brief filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Delph.

The investigation began in the summer of 2014, when a tipster contacted Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife with information about Wood. In 2015, the National Park Service and OSP found numerous butchered animal carcasses, each near piles of rock salt used as bait and hoof prints indicating that the poacher rode on horseback.

On Sept. 22, OSP stopped Wood while he was pulling a horse trailer near the Crater Lake boundary after hours. During the stop, Wood provided an archery game tag with blood on it.

DNA on the tag matched the butchered remains of a dead elk found the next day, according to Delph.

“The carcass was in the same meadow that Wood was previously reported to have poached elk,” Delph said, adding that investigators determined the animal had been shot.

Wood has prior felony convictions and is not allowed to possess firearms, according to court records.

Federal prosecutors said Wood posted pictures of himself on Facebook with the bull elk the same day police and parks officials found the carcass.

“Amongst his friends and family, Wood was not even attempting to hide it,” Delph wrote. “Tip after tip flowed into law enforcement for years before law enforcement was able to practically catch Wood in the act.”

In an Oct. 4 search, Fish & Wildlife Service forensic investigators found DNA of 26 wildlife specimens at Wood’s home: 13 elk, 12 deer and one black bear. Six of the samples matched butchered animals found in the park, including two elk killed in September 2015, one elk killed in August 2016, one elk and one deer killed around Sept. 17, 2016, and the six-point elk killed Sept. 22, 2016.

Wood pleaded guilty in August to a single count of violating the Lacey Act for the Sept. 22, 2016.

U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken sentenced Wood to six months in a residential reentry program, 3 years of probation and 300 hours of community service, prohibited him from any form of hunting during the probation period and banned him from Crater Lake National Park.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Adrian Duane Wood of White City reportedly posted this photo, among others, of an elk illegally taken from Crater Lake National Park in the fall of 2016. Wood was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Eugene Thursday for the poaching. Photo filed in U.S. District Court in Medford.