On probation for poaching bear, man faces marijuana charges

Accused bear-poacher Antonio Lio, 30, of Indian Rock Place in Wilton, will head to court again this year — this time for a misdemeanor summons he received for failing to obey a traffic signal and possessing marijuana and paraphernalia.

Wilton police stopped Lio in a white 2009 Honda Ridgeline around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27, after he ran a red light at the Route 7 and Westport Road intersection. During investigation, police detected an odor of marijuana, and a search of the vehicle revealed 0.511 ounces of marijuana, as well as a glass mason jar and metal grinder with marijuana-like residue.

Lio was issued a misdemeanor summons for failing to obey a traffic signal, possessing more than a half-ounce of marijuana, and possessing paraphernalia with more than a half-ounce of marijuana. He is scheduled to appear at Norwalk Superior Court on Monday, Dec. 10.

In September 2017, Lio and Nowalk resident Daniel Moran were arrested by DEEPs Environmental Conservation Police after two young black bears were killed with a bow and arrow on private property in the area of Indian Rock Place in Wilton.

Lio was charged with two counts of illegal taking of black bear and one count of fourth-degree negligent hunting, while Moran was charged with conspiracy to illegally taking a bear. Moran pleaded guilty and was given a $500 fine and had his hunting license suspended.

In January of this year, Norwalk Superior Court Judge Alex Hernandez granted Lio accelerated rehabilitation — a pre-trial intervention program that placed him on probation for two years, after which his record would be expunged. Lio’s hunting license was also suspended, and he was ordered him to serve 40 hours of public service and avoid further arrests for the next two years.

Norwalk Superior Court Deputy Chief Clerk Bobby Valassis told The Bulletin that a misdemeanor summons “may or may not” negatively affect someone in an accelerated rehabilitation program. That, he said, would be determined at a court hearing.

The Bulletin reached out to Attorney Kevin M. Black — who represented Lio in the bear-poaching case — for comment, but did not hear back from him in time for publication.