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DEC police catch Central New York deer poachers, safeguard sunbathing seal

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I just read a few of those. This one struck me.


A 24-year-old Weedsport man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two felony charges following his arrest in September for impersonating a police officer and stealing a rifle from a hunter.

On Sept. 9, Zackary Harvey approached a group of squirrel hunters in the Howland Island Wildlife Management Area, claiming to be an undercover Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO). Harvey did not have a uniform, badge, gun, or anything else to identify him as law enforcement.

After the squirrel hunters complied with Harvey’s demand to show him their hunting licenses, they asked to see Harvey’s identification. Harvey flashed the hunters an image of a badge on his cell phone, then “confiscated” a semi-automatic .22 Savage rifle from one of them.

Two days after Harvey stole the rifle, he sent an email riddled with misspellings to the victim, informing him that the Department of Environmental Conservation “take way ur 22 because it was a semi automatic.”

The hunter’s rifle is not illegal in New York state, but Harvey’s email included a news article falsely suggesting “semi automatic guns” are banned.

Two real ECOs later tracked Harvey down to his home in the village of Weedsport, took him into custody, and recovered the stolen .22 rifle along with an illegally possessed 12-gauge shotgun.

Harvey has been in jail since October and faces a prison sentence of 1-3 years. He is set to be sentenced on April 13, 2023.

Who would hand over their gun to a guy flashing a picture of a badge? 

If it helps, this is what he looks like.


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