SE Minn. woman pleads not guilty to gopher feet theft

Author:
Updated:
Original:

A Preston, Minn. woman is going to trial after being accused of stealing frozen gopher feet worth thousands of dollars.

The Rochester Post Bulletin reports 37-year-old Tina Marie Garrison and her 18-year-old son, Junior Lee Dillon, were charged for allegedly swiping evidence of the pests, which are known for damaging cropland, from a gopher trapper in Fillmore County. Gopher feet sell for about $3 per pair.

The newspaper reports the owner contacted local townships that offer bounties for gophers. He found that Dillon and Garrison turned in nearly $5,000 in gopher feet last November and December.

The complaint states that Dillon, who was a frequent visitor at the owner's home, denied taking them.

Garrison claimed that she received the feet from her oldest son who said he got them from a friend. Garrison told investigators that she was asked to collect the reward money because her son and his friend had to work and were unable turn them in.

Dillon is awaiting an omnibus hearing on July 29.

Gopher hunting has been a long-standing tradition in southeast Minnesota. The 139th Annual Gopher Count, which originated with local farmers competing to collect the most gopher feet, begins Thursday in Viola, Minn.

The practice is also a way to make a living in some areas.

“Old, retired guys hunt for them and collect the bounty and live off the money. It’s what they do," a Gopher Count event spokesperson said in a 2008 report.

Next Up

Mohamed Ibrahim

Missed PAT seals Gophers' fate against Maryland

Mohamed Ibrahim tied a school record with four touchdowns, but the Gophers lost in overtime.

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.

1024px-McD-McRib

McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

Related

Woman pleads guilty to fatally shooting husband

Jennifer Nibbe, 35, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Wednesday, admitting that she shot and killed 26-year-old James Nibbe in their house south of Lake Crystal without pre-meditation. The Mankato Free Press has posted video of her tearful confession.

Man pleads not guilty in dog-kicking case

A 27-year-old Rochester man pleaded not guilty Friday to two counts of mistreating animals, one for torture and the other for cruelty, in Olmsted County District Court. Jarek Moen is accused of kicking the dog of his girlfriend, who is a Rochester police officer. The dog died. A September trial date was set, although a settlement is being sought.