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Londonderry man guilty of selling turtles illegally

Staff Report
July 18. 2014 9:07PM

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department said a Londonderry man has pleaded guilty in 10th Circuit Court-Derry District Division to illegal possession and sale of threatened and endangered turtles.

Officials said Richard Decoste advertised for sale spotted turtles, which are threatened, and Blanding’s turtles, which are endangered in the state.

After purchasing a spotted turtle, Conservation Officer Geoffrey Pushee obtained an arrest warrant for Decoste and a search warrant for Decoste’s home, where 10 more spotted turtles and two Blanding’s turtles were found. They were later returned to their native habitats.

Decoste paid more than $1,000 in fines and penalties.

The department says possession of most living wildlife in New Hampshire is illegal without obtaining a permit from Fish and Game. Sale is also prohibited.

The department also said two men, pursued for night deer hunting last October in Northwood, were convicted July 16 in 10th Circuit Court-Candia District Division.

Shortly after 1 a.m. on Oct. 22, 2013, officers pursued a vehicle from which James Blaisdell of Barnstead had shot a deer decoy with a crossbow in Northwood. Dana Martin of Pittsfield was the driver of the vehicle, which sped off and led officers on a chase through four counties. Officials said the men disposed of evidence along the way, before being stopped in Pittsfield.

Both men were arrested and, during interviews, Fish and Game officers learned of at least one other night-hunting incident on Sept. 17, 2013.

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