17 February 2004
A Sumner County deputy resigns, amid accusations he
violated state and federal hunting laws. Brian Swingle and four others are
accused of being on the wrong side of law for exceeding the legal limits for
how many Canada geese they allegedly killed.
Federal authorities won't say specifically how many birds
they're accused of shooting. But they describe the number as "quite
Wellington resident Carolyn Putter says a deputy should
know the law.
Carolyn says, "Somebody like that knows a whole lot better
than to do something like that."
That's the same thing some involved in the case are saying
off camera, that a law enforcement officer is not above the law.
Just last month before this incident, former Sumner County
Deputy Brian Swingle was praised for helping to nab
two robbery suspects at the Wellington WalMart.
Now, he and four others are accused of bagging too many
Canada geese while hunting in Harper County.
Special agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Manny
Medina says in-season hunters are allowed to kill three Canada geese per
day, and each can only possess six of the birds, or two day's limit.
Medina describes the hunter's catch as "quite excessive" but
won't put an exact number on it.
Medina says the five men also face other misdemeanor
Canada geese are migratory birds protected by federal and
This isn't Swingle's first legal hassle with hunting. In
June of last year, Swingle agreed to diversion in a
deer hunting incident.
The hunters face up to $15,000 in fines and six months in
jail on each charge. Federal authorities say the hunting laws are not
ambiguous. They say there's no reason for this to happen.
A court date hasn't been set.