by Jannise Johnson

FONTANA- Three men have been convicted and fined for poaching deer over the past few years.

Chad Gierlich, 37 of Riverside, Chris Gierlich, 35 of Fontana, and Kyle Narasky, 35 of Apple Valley were convicted earlier in the year of poaching deer in Yosemite.

The multi-agency investigation also found Chad Gierlich poached deer in Lake Perris State Park and Chino Hills State park, according to a news release from California Fish and Game. The men hunted deer with bows and arrows.

Evidence of these poachings was found from Chad Gierlich's computers and GPS units seized during the investigation.

This year, Chad Gierlich was also twice cited for fishing and boating violations by the California Department of Fish and Game. While under investigation for hunting within Yosemite, he was cited for hunting with his son in the Lake Perris State Park in October of last year.

Chris Gierlich pleaded guilty to 14 of 17 counts against him on May 25 in Federal court, according to the release. These included three counts of hunting within Yosemite and three counts of weapons possession within the park.

That same day Chad Gierlich pleaded guilty to nine of the 17 counts against him. Those included three counts of hunting within Yosemite and three counts of possession of a weapon within the park. Narasky pleaded guilty to hunting in Yosemite and possession of a weapon in the park.

All three men were sentenced by Mono County Judge Stan Eller. The penalties included 60 days in jail, between two and 10 years of hunting license revocation, three years probation and a $1,000 fine and community service. 

Yosemite Park Ranger and spokeswoman for the park, Kari Cobb said the fines were harsher than what are usually handed down for poaching.

"Typically they don't get jail time," she said. "That was definitely a good thing for us to get that out there that they are being severely punished."

The men were sentenced Oct. 19 in Federal Court.

Chris Gierlich's sentence also bars him from hunting within the United States for his five year probation period. He is not allowed to possess a bow and arrow and he is not allowed to be around anyone who is hunting.

Chad Gierlich's sentence also includes five years of supervised probation, and a $52,368 fine. He is also prohibited from being in the presence of hunters, barred from hunting in the United and States and is not allowed to have a bow and arrow.

Narasky was sentenced to two years of supervised probation and a $7,500 fine. His hunting equipment found in the park during the investigation was also seized, according to the release.

All three men are not allowed in Yosemite Park for the duration of their probation periods.

Cobb said poaching is a problem in the parks but it has not reached epic proportions. Rangers are trained to look for signs of poaching, she said.

The investigation into the three men began in August of 2008 after California Fish and Game Wardens got an anonymous tip about suspected poaching in the Virgina Canyon are of Yosemite, according to the release.

The poaching investigation was a joint effort between California Fish and Game and the National Park Service.