ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, VA – Conservation Police Officers (CPOs) with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) worked together with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office – VA
on a poaching case that has led to issuing two warrants.
A private property owner alerted authorities that between September 2020 and January 2021, several suspects trespassed and poached multiple antlered deer at night from the property north of Harrisonburg. The suspects cut antlers off the deer and carried them out in backpacks. The property owner was able to capture images of the suspects on trail cameras.
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) posted the photos on their Facebook page, asking the local community for help in identifying the poachers. Thanks to the work of the RCSO and the community, DWR has charged the suspects with numerous charges. Clyde Edward Eppard Jr.’s charges include discharging a firearm from the road, illegal possession of wildlife, conspiring to trespass on private property, trespassing in posted private property, shooting from a vehicle, and hunting during closed season. Kimberly Smith’s charges include conspiring to trespass and illegal possession of wildlife
“The great work of our Conservation Police Officers in protecting our valuable natural resources is so often complemented by our strong relationships with our local law enforcement partners,” said Major Scott Naff, Assistant Chief of Operations for DWR Law Enforcement. “We are so appreciative of the support we received in this case from the Sheriff’s Office and for the tremendous response of the wonderful people in the community that spoke up to bring the violators to justice and the case to an end.”