Poaching suspects left lengthy digital trail for investigators to follow

William Haynes and Erik Martin
William Haynes, left, and Erik Martin pose for a selfie in Haynes’ pickup truck. The image was sent from Martin to his girlfriend on November 19, 2016, according to case reports. In the back of the vehicle, multiple deer can be seen. According to case reports, the deer were illegally killed in Oregon and transported across state lines to Washington.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife case report

For individuals who apparently got a thrill by stalking and illegally killing wild animals, William J. Haynes and Erik Christian Martin did a poor job of covering their own tracks.

The suspected poachers unwittingly provided law enforcement officers with a huge cache of evidence, allowing Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators to build a massive case against them and five other members of an alleged poaching group.

Based on case reports reviewed by The Daily News, there’s little sign the men ever thought about getting caught.

Instead, the 23-year-old Longview residents are suspects in an investigation into the killing of more than 50 animals including deer, elk, bears and bobcats in two different states. Along the way, they left a digital trail of shocking evidence for Fish and Wildlife investigators to follow.

The painstaking task required two Fish and Wildlife officers and a sergeant, who spent a majority of the past winter and early spring diligently retracing the suspects’ bloody steps.

Investigators were also assisted by more than 30 officers from multiple agencies, including the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’ve used a lot of our manpower in this region in Western Washington to accomplish this case,” Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Brad Rhoden said in an interview.

Rhoden said he doesn’t want intense interest in the case to lead to a negative perception of honest hunters.

“I don’t want anybody to view the majority of our hunters in Washington as these types of individuals,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a sportsman out there who would say this is OK.”

Haynes is facing 61 separate charges in Skamania County District Court, including 26 charges of first-degree illegal hunting of big game. All of the charges are related to the use of dogs while hunting, which is illegal in Washington without a special permit that’s only granted in specific instances. Haynes was previously convicted of second-degree unlawful hunting of big game in Cowlitz County on Oct. 3, 2013. As a result, all of Haynes’ big game charges could be considered Class C felonies, which are punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Martin, who does not have any previous violations, is facing 28 separate charges for gross misdemeanors.

In addition to Haynes and Martin, three other suspects have been named in the investigation.

They are Joseph Allen Dills, 30, of Longview; Eddy Alvin Dills, 57, of Longview; and Bryan Christopher Tretiak, 31, of Morton. All of the suspects are awaiting preliminary appearance hearings in Skamania County later this month. Two female suspects were named in the case reports but no charges have been filed against them yet.

Dills, who has bear claws and dog paws tattooed on his left arm, pleaded guilty in Wahkiakum County District Court in 2008 to second-degree unlawful hunting of big game and second-degree criminal trespassing. He’s now facing 64 separate charges, including four first-degree unlawful big game hunting charges for the illegal use of dogs.

Had Haynes and Martin known that the contents of their phones would result in so many charges, it’s possible they may have opted not to document such a staggering number of alleged illegal hunting activities.

A mountain of evidence

Based on case reports, it’s not clear if Haynes or Martin thought twice before agreeing to allow two Oregon State police officers to look through their devices on December 3, 2016.

According to reports, the troopers had stopped the men after recognizing Haynes’ Toyota pickup as the same vehicle that appeared in several images captured by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife game cameras. The motion-activated cameras were set up in response to past illegal big game hunting activity in the Mount Hood National Forest during the months of November and December.

Upon questioning, Haynes and Martin confessed to illegally killing two buck deer and a silver gray squirrel, according to reports. The two men admitted to taking only the heads of the two deer and the entire squirrel back to a house in Longview, leaving the rest of the animals to rot.

At this point, Senior Trooper Craig Gunderson requested that Washington Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Brad Rhoden assist with recovering the illegally transported deer heads.

When Rhoden arrived, Gunderson informed him that Haynes and Martin had consented to having their cell phones searched. According to reports, it was at this point that the true scale of the ensuing investigation began to emerge.

An initial look through the devices revealed numerous photos of antlered deer skulls, dead bull elk, and — perhaps most disturbing — bear hunting with the use of dogs.

Gunderson seized the phones as evidence and obtained a search warrant to have a forensic analysis performed on the devices.

On Dec. 16, 2016, Rhoden met with Gunderson and several other officers to transfer evidence from the analysis.

The contents of Haynes’ phone provided hundreds of photos and videos documenting a pattern of brutal killings on more than 20 separate occasions.

In some cases, bears were still alive as Dills’ dogs gnawed on their flesh, Rhoden said.

Martin’s phone also held numerous photos and videos of the unlawful harvest of big game.

In addition to incriminating photos, videos and text messages, the evidence included crucial metadata which allowed investigators to pinpoint exactly where the illegal killings occurred using GPS coordinates.

Investigators could not have retraced the suspects’ steps if Haynes had not granted his phone’s camera permission to access its GPS location data.

“What was most difficult about this case is that we had to pore through so many records,” Rhoden said.


The world as we know it is about to end — again — if you believe this biblical doomsday claim

The Extinction Chronicles

 September 17 at 3:52 PM
Sept. 23 is 33 days since the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse, seen here over Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Some people believe that is significant. (George Frey/Getty Images)

A few years ago, NASA senior space scientist David Morrison debunked an apocalyptic claim as a hoax.

No, there’s no such thing as a planet called Nibiru, he said. No, it’s not a brown dwarf surrounded by planets, as iterations of the theory suggest. No, it’s not on a collision course toward Earth. And yes, people should “get over it.”

But the theory has been getting renewed attention recently. Added to it is the precise date of the astronomical event leading to Earth’s destruction. And that, according to David Meade, is in six days — Sept. 23, 2017. Unsealed, an evangelical Christian publication, foretells the Rapture in a viral, four-minute YouTube…

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Anti-Nuclear Groups Redouble Efforts to Prevent Unimaginable Human Catastrophe

The Extinction Chronicles


Sunday, September 17, 2017By Martha Baskin, Truthout | Report

Nuclear resisters demonstrate in March 2017 at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, the home port of the Trident nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet. (Credit: Fumi Tosu)Nuclear resisters demonstrate in March 2017 at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, the home port of the Trident nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet. (Credit: Fumi Tosu)

As the threat of nuclear war triggers anxiety not seen since the Cold War, peace groups and those committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons are entering the public debate with renewed calls for dialogue and a reduction in nuclear arsenals in both North Korea and the US. Meanwhile, anti-nuclear civil disobedience is ramping up.

On September 6, six nuclear resisters were found guilty of trespass after crossing the marked property of Naval Base Kitsap earlier this year. Charley Smith — a resident of Eugene…

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Brazil abolishes huge Amazon reserve in ‘biggest attack’ in 50 years


To Brazil’s National Congress, the Special House Committee, and President Michel Temer:

We demand that you listen to the appeal of the Brazilian people and stop, once and for all, passing laws, decrees, and any other irresponsible legislative measure to please the interests of powerful parties and politicians. This abuse triggers deforestation and the irreversible destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which is part of the shared heritage of humanity for present and future generations.


Brazilian court blocks abolition of vast Amazon reserve (The Guardian)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/30/brazilian-court-blocks-abolition-of-vast-amazon-reserveBrazil abolishes huge Amazon reserve in ‘biggest attack’ in 50 years (The Guardian)

Temer pushes Amazon deforestation bill in Brazil (Financial Times)

Activists decry Temer’s Amazon deforestation bill (Al Jazeera)

U.S. official tied to jaguar death to remain hidden

The Extinction Chronicles



Six years after Arizona’s only wild jaguar was unlawfully trapped and killed, a judge has ruled that the public does not have a right to know the identity of a federal ­wildlife official who allegedly covered up evidence during the criminal probe.

That legal decision emerged last month in U.S. District Court just before settlement of a public-records lawsuit filed against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Arizona Daily Star.

The litigation stems from the 2009 death of a jaguar known as Macho B, which was captured near the Mexican border by a trapper hired by the Arizona Game and Fish Department to conduct research on bears and mountain lions.

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McMaster says no redo on Paris climate deal decision

The Extinction Chronicles

 September 17 at 12:28 PM
National security adviser H.R. McMaster and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speak at a White House news briefing Friday. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

National security adviser H.R. McMaster denied Sunday that President Trump is reconsidering his decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord but said the door remains open to a better agreement down the road.

“That’s a false report,” McMaster said of published reports over the weekend that the administration might not pull out of the deal after all and might seek new terms instead.

“The president decided to pull out of the Paris accord because it’s a bad deal for the American people and it’s a bad deal for the environment,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The Wall Street Journal

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Please Speak up for NY Mute Swans!

The NY DEC has released its revised draft state management plan for mute swans and claims to have made significant changes in response to public comments received over the past three years. But what hasn’t changed is its attitude toward mute swans-DEC will stop at nothing to blame mute swans for damage to the environment, and other species so they can be hammered to appeal to hunters, anglers and jet skiers, which the DEC treats as clients. Tell DEC you want mute swans protected from egg molestation, and you don’t want adult or baby swans removed, killed or otherwise harmed. They are neither overpopulated, nor in need of DEC’s control or hostility.

Friends of Animals will be at the Oct. 19th public hearing in New Paltz, so please join us there. We encourage you to attend one of three public hearings to oppose this new plan and to tell the NY DEC to keep its hands of New York’s mute swans.

Hearings will be held at the following dates and locations:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Suffolk County Water Authority
260 Motor Parkway
Hauppauge, New York 11788

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Braddock Bay Pavilion
199 E. Manitou Road
Hilton, NY 14468

Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Region 3 NYSDEC
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561

In addition, please now submit written comments on the revised management plan by writing to: Bureau of Wildlife – Mute Swan Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754; or e-mailing Wildlife@dec.ny.gov (subject line – “Mute Swan Plan”). The public comment period will close on Dec. 6, 2017.