BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) - Five police officers - including one allegedly armed with a handgun - are among 11 people facing illegal hunting charges.
The officers - Sgt. David VanDoren and officers Silvio Bet and Christopher Bleistine of Montgomery Township, and officers Vito Bet and Christopher Paszko of the Bound Brook force - were accused in Montgomery of hunting without proper permits on Jan. 28.
Somerset County officials said Silvio Bet, who allegedly hunted with a private handgun, and Vito Bet are brothers. If convicted of the charges, all 11 people could face fines of up to $1,250, and the officers may face disciplinary charges within their respective departments.
The group members also face various charges filed by state wildlife officials, including littering and hunting on state park land. Officials also accused VanDoren of using false information when he registered the deer.
Authorities said Silvio Bet and Bleistine had hunting permits for a 135-acre tract in Franklin. However, they allegedly crossed over into two other properties owned by Montgomery, which requires separate permits for each tract.
The other group members charged were Paszko's brother Michael, 30, of Morris Plains; Thomas Clos, 29, of Princeton; Larry Barnes, 38, and Robert Weber, 38, both of Valley View, Pa.; Eugene DePace, 29, and Eugene DePace, 50, both of Montgomery.
It was not immediately clear whether the latter two hunters were related.