APRIL 8, 2010

Fish and Game officer arrested

By Todd Kunz, KIDK TV

   Montpelier – An Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer was arrested recently in Franklin County.

   Joel Gunnell, 36, of Montpelier, was arrested by Franklin County and Idaho Fish and Game officers on a felony warrant charging him with rape. He is in custody of the Montpelier Police Department, which is conducting an investigation.

   Gunnell has been placed on administrative leave. He has worked for Fish and Game since 1998 and has been a conservation officer since 2002.

   “We take this matter very seriously”, Idaho Fish and Game Director Cal Groen said. “We hold our officers and all employees to the highest standards, and we will cooperate fully with local authorities”.

   Montpelier Police Chief Greg Butler confirmed that his agency is investigating Gunnell and has filed one count of rape and one count of sexual battery of a 17 year old against Gunnell. Chief Butler said Gunnell has been booked in the Caribou County jail and will likely be arraigned on the charges.

   No further details are available at this time.