Two women charged after selling baby raccoons online

INDIANAPOLIS - An ad on Craigslist will land two women in court. A conservation officer with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said two women in New Castle were responsible for the ad and were trying to sell baby raccoons online last month.

According to court documents, a member of the Henry County Humane Society got word of an ad on Craigslist and notified the DNR. That's when the conservation officer tried to contact the number listed and acted as a buyer.

The conservation officer had reached a deal to buy three baby raccoons for $300.

After meeting Kristina Jasper, 30, and Breanna Stigall, 25, and the young raccoons, the conservation officer contacted an uniformed colleague to come to the New Castle house.

Neither woman had a permit to have possession of Indiana wildlife.

"During the spring and summer, we talk to a lot of people have rescued baby animals," said DNR operations staff specialist of Division of Fish and Wildlife Linnea Petercheff. "Usually they rescued animals and want to keep them as a pet. Occasionally, they do offer to sell them."

Both women face misdemeanor charges for having the animals.

Indiana law requires a permit to take in a wild animal. A separate license is required for someone to sell the animals.

Petercheff said an officer can give people a simple warning or charge them with a crime when they take a wild animal. Most cases also factor in if the person knew it was a crime.

"Officers can charge them with an infraction, which is similar to a speeding ticket," said Peterchuff. "They can also charge them with a misdemeanor if they knowingly or intentionally were in violation of the law."

According to court documents, at least Jasper was known by leaders at the humane society for previously violating laws pertaining to domestic animals.

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