Late last month a Longview man received a two-month sentence for using a hunting dog in connection with an investigation of an alleged poaching ring that operated in Washington and Oregon.
On July 30 Eddy Dills, 59, was sentenced in Cowlitz County District Court on a charge of hunting a cougar with a dog. On top of the 60-day sentence, Dills is also prohibited from possessing a Washington State hunting license for life, according to sentencing documents.
According to the Longview Daily News, Dills entered a guilty plea to lighten his punishment and to speed along the sentencing.
Dills’ sentence comes as a result of an investigation into alleged poaching in Washington and Oregon that began in 2015. In September 2017 more than three dozen instances of suspected poaching documented by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife were reported, close to half of which implicated Dills.
Some of the poaching occurred while Dills was campground host of Takhlakh Lake, according to reports in November 2017. At one point a citizen contacted the U.S. Forest Service with concerns over a potential poaching operation in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, alleging Dills was using his position to conduct illegal hunts.
Documents obtained through a records request and subsequent interviews showed that Dills was never questioned about the allegations by authorities. According to a November 2017 report he was eventually relieved of his position in late summer 2016 due to performance and conflict issues. He was later hired as host of Bumping Lake Campground but was dismissed in 2017 for similar issues.
Dills had also faced 26 charges in Skamania County Superior Court, but was only found guilty of three and was sentenced to 23 days of home confinement in November, according to the Washington State court database.
Dill’s sentence follows the conviction of his son, Joseph, earlier this year. The younger Dills was sentenced to one year in jail in Skamania County and $14,000 in fines.
Jordan Nailon, reporter for The Reflector’s sister paper, The Chronicle, contributed to this report.