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8 indicted in deer poaching enterprise that resulted in hundreds of animals illegally killed

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Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 17:43:22-04

Eight people are facing charges in a white tail deer poaching enterprise that resulted in hundreds of animals being illegally killed.

The Cuyahoga County prosecutor and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced the indictments of the eight people Tuesday, following a two-year investigation.

Authorities say John Zayac, 70, of Broadview Heights, worked with seven others to intentionally falsify information to the state of Ohio regarding the number of deer they killed, as required by law. 

Others facing charges include 60-year-old Rebecca Gregerson, 52-year-old Terrance Ankrom, 42-year-old Tina Ankrom, 52-year-old John Stofan, 78-year-old John Frost, 46-year-old Todd Neczeporenko and 38-year-old Craig Steed. 

The illegal hunting took place in Brecksville, North Royalton, Broadview Heights and Richfield. 

The indictment alleges Zayac ordered "deer drives" and allowed the others to bring the poached deer to his property to be skinned and dressed for processing. Large quantities of meat were ultimately produced without the proper tags, meaning it would be unlawful to sell.

The defendants would also allegedly kill more than the allotted one buck per license. To produce more meat, they would kill multiple bucks but report them as does. 

Stofan is also accused of illegally luring deer to his property at night by placing corn near motion-activated lights so he could easily shoot them. 

Neczeporenko, owner of Smokin T's Smokehouse in Jefferson, is accused of accepting the large quantities of meat without the proper tags.