Charges still pending against police chief

Saturday, September 7, 2002

CALDWELL, Mo. -- No charges have been filed as yet against Harvey Beasley of Cardwell, who authorities said was arrested Sunday afternoon for numerous game and other violations.

"We're still sorting out which citations against Harvey will be federal and which will be state," Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Sokoloff said Friday morning.

Beasley, who is the police chief at Cardwell, was booked into the Dunklin County Jail after his arrest, then moved to the Pemiscot County Jail in Caruthersville. On Monday, he was returned to Dunklin County and released from custody when no charges were filed. State law provides that if charges are not filed within 20-hours of an arrest, the suspect must be released.

Beasley operates a hunting guide service and that business was the target of joint investigation by agents of the Missouri Department of Conservation, the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

"The investigation had been ongoing for some time of Harvey and his illegal hunting practices, including his guide business for water fowl and doves" said Ken West, Southeast regional supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Beasley was given 11 citations, West said. The citations included illegally taking wildlife, crossing state lines and killing more than the legal number of birds.

In an interview with KAIT-TV, Jonesboro, Ark., earlier this week, Beasley admitted to wrong doing one of the illegal hunting allegations.

He said he did transport more than the legal number of doves allowed by the state on Sunday, the opening day of dove hunting season. But he said he didn't kill all of them. He said they were shot by another hunter who had already reached the legal bag limit of 12 birds.

Taking the birds put Beasley over the legal bag limit.

"I was wrong for doing that," Beasley said told the reporter. "I know the law. It's my duty to uphold the laws, I knew that was wrong when I was doing it. I shouldn't have done it."

West said a total of 48 local, state and federal officers used Lake Jerry Paul Combs east of Kennett as a staging area before moving on to the Cardwell area to conclude the 18-month long investigation.

"Dunklin County was the hot spot this year," he said of the hunting law enforcement action.

Beasley wasn't the only person ticketed for game violations on opening day of dove season. West said in all, the agents handed out 88 tickets to hunters for game violations Sunday.

Employees at the Cardwell City hall said Beasley is still police chief in Cardwell.

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