Edward Polansky, 28, of Holland, and Rodney Polansky, 33, of Toledo, were convicted of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony, and failure to comply with an order of a police officer, a third-degree felony.
The investigation began in the fall of 2015, when the ODNR Division of Wildlife received multiple theft reports from hunters who had their vehicles broken into while hunting on public lands in Williams, Fulton, Henry and Lucas counties. Also, during this time, wildlife officers received several deer poaching complaints that were later connected to the Polanskys as a result of the investigation.
A break in the case came in December of 2016, when a hunter witnessed the Polanskys break into his vehicle. This led to the Polanskys arrest and the execution of multiple search warrants by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. The search warrants recovered numerous stolen items including firearms and other hunting related equipment, a snow blower stolen from the ODNR Division of Wildlife, and several illegally taken and possessed deer antlers. In total, 28 victims reported 177 items stolen over a two-year period.
Edward and Rodney Polansky were sentenced to four years in prison, to be served consecutively, and five years of post-release control. Both men lost their hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges for 10 years. All evidence was forfeited to the state and items belonging to the victims were returned.
Henry County Common Pleas Court Judge John Collier ordered the men to split the payment of $30,823.56 in restitution, to be paid to the victims for damages and loss of property, and to the state for six deer taken or possessed unlawfully. A total of $3,006.44 in court costs was also ordered to be paid.
Thirteen different law enforcement agencies, including two out-of-state agencies, assisted wildlife officers on this case, as did Prosecutor Gwen Howe-Gebers.
The public can report wildlife violations through the Turn-In-A-Poacher (TIP) Program. Established in 1982, TIP allows Ohioans to call a toll-free number from anywhere in the state to report wildlife violations. Calls regarding wildlife violations can be placed anonymously at 1-800-POACHER (800-762-2437).