Updated:
Original:

SE Minn. woman pleads not guilty to gopher feet theft

Author:

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

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Wild, Kaprizov agree to 5-year deal

The contract will keep the star forward in Minnesota through the 2025-26 season.

Dunn County WI homicide suspect

Charges: Man who killed 4 friends, drove bodies to WI said he 'snapped'

Charges filed Tuesday reveal more details about the grisly case.

Edison high school wikimedia commons

Mpls. school goes to distance learning after students exposed to COVID

In-person classes will resume next month, the district said.

Mike Zimmer

Does Mike Zimmer's coaching style mesh with the Vikings' strengths?

Time for Zimmer to put all of his faith in the offense and try to win shootouts?

gray wolf

6 Wisconsin tribes sue to end upcoming wolf hunt

They cite treaty rights and a "disastrous February hunt."

St Paul Grill steak facebook

St. Paul Grill, closed since March 2020, announces reopening date

The dining room will open to all visitors again next month.

police lights

Charges: Man fled police at 127 mph, caused crash that injured officer

The Sept. 16 incident led to a police chase going the wrong way on Hwy. 169 near St. Peter.

Bar beer

3 Minnesota teens 'pistol whipped' at bar in Sioux Falls

Police are investigating the incident, including why the teens were at the bar.

Ben Simmons

The latest Ben Simmons drama 1 week from the start of training camp

Training camp opens Sept. 28, at which point things could get really crazy.

court gavel

Judge finds man guilty in Hibbing Christmas Day murder

Jerome Spann fatally shot Jeryel McBeth on Christmas Day 2018.

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.