The following is the text of a news release issued
today by the NJ DEP.
It can be viewed on the DEP Web site at
DEP CONSERVATION OFFICERS CHARGE NEW JERSEY MAN
WITH SELLING WILDLIFE PARTS
TRENTON - Undercover wildlife-conservation lawmen bagged an Atlantic
County man on charges of peddling more than 200 white-tailed deer
antlers including several trophy-class sets, Department of Environmental
Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced today.
Folsom Borough resident Melvin Kemmerer, 63, who stood to pocket
about $1,000 for the antler collection, now faces three to five years in
prison and up to $200,000 in fines for the illegal sale, transfer and
possession of wildlife parts.
"There should be no doubt that we are serious about stopping crime
against New Jersey's wildlife," Commissioner Jackson said. "Our
Conservation Officers are out on the beat, and the public is helping us
catch those who have no regard for our wildlife resources and the laws
that protect them."
Kemmerer's arrest culminated a two-month investigation by
Conservation Officers with the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife and
agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Acting on a tip that
Kemmerer was soliciting buyers for his antlers, a law enforcement
officer contacted the suspect by telephone and arranged to purchase the
deer parts. Lawmen allege Kemmerer agreed to sell the antlers for $10 a
Immediately after Kemmerer exchanged the 100 pounds of antlers for
cash, DEP Conservation Officers and federal agents took him into custody
without incident at his home. Kemmerer has two previous convictions for
violating New Jersey's wildlife laws, stemming from deer-hunting
incidents in 1987 and 1997.
Residents concerned about wildlife crime can help DEP's Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Officers apprehend violators by participating in
Operation Game Thief. Information on the commercial exploitation of New
Jersey's wildlife resources, pollution of wildlife habitat, poaching,
illegal trapping, negligent use of firearms and other violations can be
offered anonymously to the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife by
calling Operation Game Thief's toll-free number (800) 222-0456.
For more information on Operation Game Thief the program, visit