2 charged after off-roading incident in Sussex County

HARDYSTON, NJ (Sussex County) – Two people were charged after an alleged illegal off-roading trip in Sussex County.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Bureau of Law Enforcement received notification from the Hardyston Township Police Department on March 13 of a Jeep at the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area that had become disabled, according to a release on Wednesday.

The officers responded and located the Jeep, approximately half mile into the woods on WMA property, DFW said.

A thorough investigation revealed that the operator had been off-roading with a friend when his steering failed. The operator left the Jeep and returned the next night with another friend when they were able to winch the Jeep out to a location closer to the road but were unable to recover the vehicle, DFW said.

This attempt also damaged several trees and created a significant amount of soil disruption. The owner finally resorted to hiring a towing company to use a mini excavator to complete the recovery – at a cost of $1000.00 to the Jeep’s owner, DFW said.

The owner and his friend received summonses for operating a motor vehicle in a prohibited area of a WMA, disturbing vegetation/soil on a WMA and entering a WMA after hours, DFW said.

The names of individuals weren’t released.

In court, the owner pled guilty and was assessed fines of $350, and because this is his second offense for operating a vehicle in a prohibited area and disturbing soil and vegetation, his hunting and fishing license privileges have been suspended for 5 years and he will need to complete the Division’s Remedial Hunter Education before his privileges can be restored, DFW said.

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By: Jay Edwards
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(Photo Courtesy: NJDFW)