Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2006

Pastor fined, loses hunting license in Wisconsin trip incident

Published - January, 12, 2006

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The pastor of one of the largest churches in Pensacola will lose his hunting license and will have to pay $1,421 in fines for violating Wisconsin hunting laws.

The Rev. Gordon Godfrey of Marcus Pointe Baptist Church pleaded no contest on Wednesday to seven charges of various hunting law violations the state of Wisconsin dropped two of the charges.

Godfey did not travel to Wisconsin and instead pled through his attorney by telephone, said Tom Novak, a courts public relations officer in Wisconsin.

The seven charges he pleaded no contest to included:

-- Hunting turkey with an invalid permit.

-- Two counts of hunting without a license.

-- Two counts of possessing or transporting untagged turkey.

-- Hunting game birds during closed season.

-- Hunting turkey without valid permit.

Escambia County Sheriff Ron McNesby and Escambia County Commissioner Mike Whitehead also among the 18 residents in the two-county area who were charged in November for hunting trips in Wisconsin.

McNesby and Whitehead are expected to make their initial appearance on Jan. 25.

A two-year investigation by federal and state agents focused on the owner of an outfitter accused of providing illegal white-tailed deer and wild turkey hunting trips in the southwest part of the state between November 2002 and last May.

Adam Lee Lawinger, 27, principal owner and guide for Blue River Outfitters in Richland County Wis., was charged in federal court with allowing hunters to kill deer and turkeys without licenses and allowing clients to bait deer inside the chronic wasting disease control area, to shine and shoot deer at night and to kill turkeys with a .22-caliber rifle.

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