Franklin County Pair Charged with Multiple Counts of Poaching Deer

Dennis Heath Roberts

Two Franklin County men are behind bars charged with multiple counts of poaching deer and drug possession.

Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Officer Craig Fulghum said 28-year old Seth Lanier Strickland of Wolf Den Road in Royston and 34-year old Dennis Heath Roberts of Andrews Road in Carnesville are charged with poaching dozens of deer illegally in Franklin County.

Seth Lanier Strickland

“The Georgia DNR has been working a several-month investigation on two individuals in Franklin County,” he said. “Over the last few months, we received several anonymous calls along with some very detailed information that has led to the arrest of two individuals in Franklin County. Charges include several felonies and misdemeanors involving wildlife and drugs.”

Fulghum said DNR and Franklin County Sheriff’s officers obtained search warrants for Strickland and Roberts’ residences where he said they confiscated 69 deer racks.

Described as poachers by Fulghum, he said the pair were allegedly shooting and killing deer mainly for the fun of it and were not dressing the carcasses or using the meat.

Fulghum said the pair illegally took at least 69 deer from Franklin County

“It’s a tremendous waste. They’re not hunters, they’re poachers. There’s a big difference. Hunters are conservationists. These individuals are far from that. Based on our investigation they did this for sport killing. It’s a sad day when we have law-abiding hunters that do things right. They manage their properties and they try to adhere to the rules and regulations of the State. They do it the right way. It’s a shame when you have individuals like this who take advantage of the system,” Fulghum said.

According to Fulghum, Strickland and Roberts were hunting at night on private land all over the county without regard for the safety of citizens who may have been in the area.

Additionally, he said the two also face similar charges in Tennessee.

“There are several states involved, including the State of Tennessee. Through our investigation, we learned that there were multiple deer that were killed in the area of Mount Juliette which is just east of Nashville, during about a five-week period. So charges are coming from the State of Tennessee as well,” he said.

Strickland is charged with possession of methamphetamine, three counts of possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a crime or attempted crime, obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers, tampering with evidence and possession of illegally taking deer, multiple counts of illegally taking wildlife, multiple counts of illegally taking live deer or deer carcasses from another state, and multiple charges of failing to report the taking of antlered deer, plus other charges.

Roberts is charged with possession of methamphetamine, hunting upon or discharging weapons on public land, three counts of possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a crime or attempted crime, two counts of hunting on the land of another, tampering with evidence, possession of drug-related objects, possession of schedule 1 controlled substance, at least eight counts of import of live deer or possession of deer carcass from another state, and multiple counts of hunting without a license and without a big game license.

Fulghum said Roberts was indicted by a Franklin County Grand Jury on similar charges from 2019 and is awaiting trial on those charges.

Both Strickland and Roberts are being held in the Franklin County Detention Center without bond.