CORUNNA, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A Shiawassee County man has been ordered to pay the state $75,000 in restitution for his role in a poaching case.

In addition to the restitution requirement, Brian Birchmeier, a 51-year-old Owosso Township resident, had his hunting privileges revoked for the remainder of this year and the next three years.

Birchmeier was sentenced after earlier pleading no contest to three counts of take and/or possess deer/bear/turkey and one licensing violation count. He had been facing 125 misdemeanor charges related to poaching deer and turkey.

In October 2012, conservation officers from the state Department of Natural Resources found Birchmeier to be in illegal possession of parts of more than 100 animals, including deer and turkey.

After receiving a tip from the county sheriff’s office, conservation officers searched Birchmeier’s residence, where they found illegal bait piles, more than 170 antlers, shoulder mounts, crossbows and turkey beards.

Based on a review of licenses purchased by Birchmeier, and an absence of hunting records prior to 1982, the number of deer parts alone that Birchmeier illegally possessed was estimated at well over 100, according to the DNR — who called it one of the largest poaching cases they’ve seen in recent Michigan history.

A no-contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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