A North Judson man was arrested Sunday after he was found to have been spotlighting deer from a motor vehicle while in possession of a loaded firearm.
An anonymous tip was called into the Indiana Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline for suspicious activity in the Starke County area. Conservation Officer, Keith Wildeman, saw the suspect vehicle shining a spotlight across open fields and along wooded areas in search for deer. At one point, the spotlight shone directly on the officer.
Officer Wildeman was able to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, the officer found a loaded .50 caliber muzzleloader along with a spotlight and numerous rounds of ammunition. Robert Allen, 24, of North Judson was taken into custody on a charge of Spotlighting a Deer from a Motor Vehicle While in Possession of a Firearm, a Class C misdemeanor. No charges were filed against 21-year-old Shane Howard, of Winamac, who was a passenger in the vehicle with Allen at the time of the incident.
Wildeman said under Indiana State Law it is permitted to shine a spotlight from a motor vehicle as long as no firearms or archery equipment are inside the vehicle.
Charges have been filed with the Starke County Prosecutor which may lead to the seizure of all equipment used in the crime. Additional charges are pending.