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Hunting arrests in Paul Bunyan Refuge yield drugs, guns

By Sarah Smith

Josh Herdina is an angry man and he made no bones about it Monday in Judge Paul Rasmussen’s courtroom.

Herdina’s extensive arrest record grew over the weekend as he and two companions were apprehended in the Paul Bunyan Refuge on hunting and controlled substance violations. They were allegedly intoxicated. Hunting with a firearm is prohibited in the Hubbard County refuge.

Conservation officers, deputies and other agency officers fanned out over the Gulch area late Friday night in search of the trio, which included Kyle Tysver and a woman.

Herdina’s criminal record includes convictions for DWI, fleeing, assault and making terroristic threats.

“He has a significant criminal record,” Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne said, asking for bail amounts of $40,000 with conditions and $50,000 unconditional.

Herdina and Tysver were arraigned on a number of charges including illegal hunting and possession of drugs. Tysver’s bail was set at $10,000 conditional. He can post $1,000 cash to be released.

Herdina was additionally charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and violating his probation.

Officers seized a number of firearms Friday night.

“I did not have a weapon,” Herdina angrily told the judge, who reminded the inmate of his right to remain silent.

At the scene Herdina allegedly told two conservation officers that he had been bow hunting but that he had “lost the bow in the woods.”

Herdina wanted to be released on his own recognizance and told Rasmussen he has a sick daughter that needs kidney dialysis.

“I need to be there for my family and that’s the honest truth,” he said, wanting lenience. “We spend every dime we have just to get our daughter back and forth.”

Rasmussen was having none of it and told the inmate, “I’m going to keep you here” on the probation violation.

Then Rasmussen set bail on the remaining charges.

Herdina was making no effort to understand and asked several times for clarification about being released on bail, getting angrier with each request.

“I’m ordering you held without bail on the probation violation,” Rasmussen finally summarized, pointing out that even if Herdina could raise bail on the remaining charges, he was going nowhere.

“Go sit down over there,” Rasmussen added, pointing to a chair at the edge of the courtroom.

Herdina retreated after giving the judge a furious look and protesting with muffled profanities.

His next hearing is set for Nov. 25.

Although Tysver fared better in the bail department, Rasmussen, normally a model of composure, was struggling to keep his temper.

Herdina, 39, is charged withPossession of a Pistol, Fifth Degree drug possession after a subsequent conviction and Hunting Under the Influence.

Tysver, 29, who is linked to a multi-county burglary ring and faces a charge of receiving stolen property in that case, was also charged with Hunting Under the Influence and the Fifth Degree Controlled Substance Crime.

Layne Marie Turner, 27, was also arrested and charged in the incident. The conservation officers noted in their report that all three suspects were hyper and jittery. Mouth swabs taken at the scene tested positive for meth. Herdina had to be put in a squad car “for officer safety,” the complaint stated.

Both Turner and Tysver “became combative, belligerent and tried to leave with the vehicle,” the complaint stated. They were both arrested for obstructing.

The incident took several hours to resolve as all three suspects were processed.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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