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DNR honors conservation officer who helped end poaching ring

OLIVIA -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Division of Enforcement has named Greg Abraham its 2010 conservation officer of the year, it announced on Thursday.

The 30-year DNR employee who works from the New Ulm station, is a proven leader, distinguished marksman, exceptionally skilled investigator and standout officer, said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR enforcement director.

Abraham's career is filled with accomplishments that meet and exceed the expectations of a conservation officer, according to Konrad.

Abraham was among the conservation and law officers who took part in an investigation that led to charges against nine people for roles in an alleged deer shining and poaching ring in Renville and Brown counties.

Chuck Lee Baumgartner, 33, of Olivia, pleaded guilty last fall to charges of using artificial lights to take wild game. He served time in jail for his role.

Abraham said officers had received information that a dozen or more deer were taken during September, October and November of 2009. The suspects allegedly drove down country roads in Renville, southern Kandiyohi, and portions of Brown, Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties during nighttime hours.