By Luke Balvert
Four Waikato men continue to be remanded on bail after being accused of poaching $100,000 worth of deer from Bay of Plenty farms.
All four, who were excused from appearing today, are yet to enter pleas on the joint charges of theft of animals. Darroch is facing one additional charge of unlawful hunting.
They will reappear in Tauranga District Court for a case review hearing on the summary charges on June 18.
The charges stem from an alleged illegal poaching ring operating across properties in Pyes Pa, Te Matai Road, Oropi and Rotorua between January and December last year.
All four will continue to be remanded on bail to their home addresses in Matamata and are prohibited from any possession of firearms or ammunition.
The accused were arrested in March following police raids in Matamata where 11 firearms, including three .270 high-powered hunting rifles, a .303 rifle, a .243 high-calibre rifle and two shotguns were seized.
Police also seized three vehicles during the raids.
The officer in charge of the investigation, Constable Tim Bonner said more than 130 rusa, red and fallow deer, valued from $700 to $4500 each, were stolen as part of the poaching operation. More....