NBCRightNow.com – NBC Right Now is digging deeper into an investigation surrounding two Hanford workers cited with killing elk while trespassing on Hanford Reservation property.
After a concerned citizen reported they had heard of elk being hunted on reservation property the WA Department of Fish & Wildlife began their investigation. Their source named Dan Charboneau, an employee of Hanford contractor Washington River Protection Solutions as a suspect.
When Fish & Wildlife officers first made contact with Charboneau, he told them his sister had shot and killed an elk on reservation property. After officers interviewed other friends and family members that were on the same hunting boat as Charboneau they were left with conflicting stories.
Joetta Miller told officers in an interview that Brock Miller who works for Wildlands Inc. a subcontractor of Washington Closure Hanford was on the boat along with them. She also said the group had been hunting all week on the Columbia. It was also discovered that Miller had killed elk during their trip. Charboneau and his sister finally confessed to lying to officers and admitted he did kill an elk.
We also now know how the Department of Fish & Wildlife figured out the men were on Hanford Reservation property when they shot and killed two trophy elk. After two search warrants and affidavits were secured through Franklin County, cell phones and digital cameras including iphones and go-pro cameras were seized.
Photos were taken on the phones of the men with the elk at the kill site and after they had transported the elk off reservation property. GPS coordinates that were geo-tagged on the smartphones match the shoreline of the Columbia River in the area that is clearly marked as a no hunting zone. The report also cites that it is common knowledge for all employees at Hanford that the area is not for hunting. The phones also had text messages in which Charboneau said he killed the elk.
Ultimately Miller pleaded guilty to unlawful hunting on another's property, hunting big game without a tag and using a tag belonging to another person.
When we made calls to their employers we did not hear back from Washington River Protection Solutions and Wildlands Inc said they were "not interested" in any stories about their employee.
To see the complete collection of the Fish & Wildlife investigation documents click here