POMEROY, Ohio – A man has been sentenced for improperly handling a firearm and illegally hunting in Meigs County.
Travis Cundiff, 28, of Langsville, Ohio was sentenced by Judge I. Carson Crow following a pre-sentence investigation. Cundiff had been indicted by a Meigs County Grand Jury on Dec. 5, 2016 on three charges. Cundiff was charged with: one count of Improperly Handling a Firearm in a Motor Vehicle, a felony of the fourth degree; one count of Hunting/Trapping Provision, a misdemeanor of the first degree; and one count of Hunting Without Permission, a misdemeanor of the third degree. In a plea agreement, Cundiff entered a guilty plea to the firearm charge and the hunting/trapping charge. The third charge of hunting without permission was dismissed.
Cundiff was sentenced to five years of community control, a five year hunting ban, fines totaling $2,000, and he must surrender the firearm, a Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun used in the incident and the 2001 Chevy Tahoe he was driving at the time of the incident. Judge Crow made it clear the maximum time of 18 months in prison on the firearm charge and six months in county jail on the hunting charge would be served consecutively if Cundiff violates the terms of community control. Judge Crow cited Cundiff’s “course of conduct” that the behavior must change as the judge commented on the lengthy court cases Cundiff has had on hunting violations.
“It has been habitual,” said ODNR Division of Wildlife Officer Chris Gilkey when asked by Judge Crow about Cundiff’s record of hunting violations. Gilkey said Cundiff had demonstrated a “pure disregard for the hunting laws in the state of Ohio,” and added, “For the sportsmen of this county, what do we do to make this stop?”
Judge Crow said it was time for Cundiff to “awaken” to the laws concerning hunting in the state stating, “The record is stupid, with all due respect.” Cundiff has had around 20 cases in the Meigs County Court concerning hunting violations.
Cundiff appeared with his counsel, Joshua Price. Price said while he could not give the court a guarantee his client would not violate the state’s hunting laws again, he said he had explained the law to his client extensively.
Cundiff was caught during an initiative called “Operation Enough” in a combined effort with Officers Gilkey and Dan Perko as well as Wildlife Investigator Travis Abel on Nov. 30, 2016 in Salem Township.
“Numerous complaints of people poaching deer on the property have been reported. While they were in the area, the officers observed Cundiff shoot at a deer from the roadway. After the officers pulled over his truck, Cundiff was arrested. During the search of his vehicle, the officers discovered a pump shotgun, loose shotgun slugs, and hunting clothes and accessories on the front seat of the truck,” according to a statement from from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
Additionally, according to a statement from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, “Cundiff is a known repeat offender with 20 previous wildlife related violations. He was one of the poachers convicted in “Operation Enough” in 2007 in which nine individuals from Meigs and Franklin counties were charged with 59 wildlife violations.”