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Fort Peck Reservation Moose Poaching Case Resolved

Enforcement - Region 6

Wed Dec 28 10:01:00 MST 2011

A Roosevelt County man has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay a $500 state fee over the illegal killing of four moose on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in 2008.
Chad Arnold Hilde, 43, was charged with four felony counts of unlawful possession, shipping or transportation of game animals and four felony counts of solicitation in the case. Solicitation occurs when someone commands, encourages, or facilitates the commission of a crime.
According to court documents, Hilde, who was living in the Culbertson area at the time, acknowledged taking a minor hunting on the reservation north of Brockton on July 4, 2008. The 14-year-old boy allegedly killed the moose -- two young cows, a yearling bull and a yearling calf -- while with Hilde. Hilde then gave two of the carcasses to another person.
Only tribal members or those specifically licensed by the Fort Peck Tribes can hunt big game on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Authorities said Hilde, who served as the police chief of Poplar, Mont., at the time of the incident, is not a member of the Fort Peck Tribes or any other American Indian tribe. The minor also could not legally hunt on the reservation.
In an agreement reached with Roosevelt County Attorney Ralph Patch, Hilde admitted there was probable cause for charging him with the eight felonies. Montana 15th Judicial District Court documents show the one-year deferred prosecution of the charges is based on the following conditions:
·         Hilde must remain law-abiding and also abide by all terms of the agreement;
·         He pays a $500 prosecution fee to the 15th Judicial District Court District Court of Roosevelt County;
·         He waives his rights to double jeopardy and statute of limitation defenses;
·         The charges are dismissed without prejudice, meaning they can be filed again over the next year if terms of the agreement are not met.
In his motion to dismiss, Patch wrote: “The grounds for this motion are that the State, after a thorough review of the case and an examination of the potential witnesses in the case, has determined that a pretrial disposition of the case would be in the best interests of justice.”
The case was jointly investigated by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Fort Peck Tribal Fish and Game Department.