Hang 'em high!!! SUSPECTED FISH POACHERS NETTED DURING UNDERCOVER WILDLIFE INVESTIGATION Persons charged are from Delaware, Mt. Gilead, Cincinnati, Fremont, Tiffin, Columbus, Cincinnati and Clay City, Kentucky COLUMBUS, OH - "Operation RIP RAP," an undercover investigation conducted by officers of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, has resulted in the arrest of 10 people in recent days for the commercial sale of white bass and walleye caught by sport fishing. The suspects are accused of illegally selling thousands of fish, many of which were taken by the illegal practice of snagging. ODNR authorities believe all of the illegal fish sales occurred within the City of Fremont in Sandusky County. "The alleged poachers are believed to have stolen thousand of wild animals from the citizens of Ohio," said Steven A. Gray, chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife. "This should in no way reflect negatively on the image of the legitimate sportsmen and women of our state. In fact, it is because of concerned conservationists who were willing to get involved that this illegal activity has now been stopped." The 10 people arrested are: Jamie R. Cummings, 24, 5970 CR 121, Mt. Gilead; Jay N. Cummings, 28, address unknown; Jerry N. Cummings, 66, 1330 Hanover, LT 72, Delaware; JoAnn Cummings, 55, 1330 Hanover LT 72, Delaware; Larry R. Fornash, 59, 2033 Daugherty Ave., Columbus; Everette "Rattle" Holland, 71, 815 Oak Ave., Cincinnati; Grady Jones, Jr., 53, 200 Jones Rd, Clay City, KY; Thomas Rhodes, 35, 21 Grace St., Tiffin; Walter "Chris" Rhodes, 37, 202 Fifth Ave., Tiffin; and Patricia L. Strausbaugh, 67, 1730 Port Clinton Rd. Lot 26, Fremont. The suspected poachers are charged with a total of 15 fifth-degree felony counts and seven fourth-degree misdemeanor counts for violating Ohio's wildlife laws. According to investigators, additional charges may follow. Fifth-degree felony convictions carry a maximum penalty of $2,500 in fines and 12 months in jail. In addition, the defendants could be ordered to pay as much as $20,000 in total restitution to the state for the poached fish. "This investigation was initiated because of numerous poaching complaints received through the Division of Wildlife's Turn-In-A-Poacher hotline from sportsmen in the Fremont area," said Daniel T. Schneider, law enforcement executive administrator for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. "We sent in undercover officers in order to strike a blow against poaching and to send a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated." Established in 1982, the T.I.P. program allows Ohioans to call toll-free from anywhere in the state to report wildlife violations. Calls can be placed anonymously at 1-800-POACHER (800-762-2437).