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Arrest made in albino deer case

Michael Ray Clifton
Michael Ray Clifton

A Stuart man has been charged with multiple counts of distributing methamphetamine and with the recent roadside killing of two albino deer.

Sheriff Dan Smith stated that on March 10th at approximately 10 AM, deputies with the sheriff’s tactical response team were executing three distribution of methamphetamine indictments at 53 Cedar View Lane in Stuart.

Michael Ray Clifton, 35, of that address, was listed as the accused on the indictments and was arrested upon arrival.

The drug indictments stemmed from an ongoing investigation conducted by Lieutenant Nicholas Pendleton and Investigator Brian Hubbard of the special investigations unit of the sheriff’s office. The deputies were assisted by Game Warden Dale Owens of the Department of Wildlife Resources Law Enforcement Division.

Owens subsequently charged Clifton with the following violations: 2 counts of spotlighting deer with the intent to shoot, 2 counts hunting from a motor vehicle, 2 counts of discharging a firearm from a roadway, 2 counts of illegal possession of deer not reported, hunting without a license, hunting without a big game license, and trespassing. The wildlife charges are the result of a three month investigation where two albino deer were found dead with their tails cut off.

The killing of the deer occurred on Little Russell Creek Road.

The wildlife poaching investigation was led by Owens, with Investigator Hubbard assisting.

Clifton was released on a $2,500 secured bond while awaiting trial.

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