South Burlington felon convicted of deer poaching

Robert Verrastro

ESSEX – Robert Verrastro, 47, of South Burlington, has pled guilty to the charge of possession of illegal big game among other crimes in connection with a deer poaching investigation in Starksboro that took place in November of 2019, state Fish & Wildlife officials say.

The Vermont Warden Service received information that an illegally harvested deer was hanging in a barn on a farm in Starksboro.  State Game Wardens obtained consent from the landowner and seized the partially butchered illegal deer.  Investigation led them to a Jeep Wrangler abandoned on the property. 

As the wardens were preparing to seize the vehicle, they met resistance from an individual who was later confirmed to be Verrastro.  Verrastro was in possession of a lever-action rifle during the encounter.  Wardens seized the Jeep and released Verrastro after photographing the photo ID that he provided for identification.

Additional investigation and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies led wardens to determine that Verrastro had falsely procured the Enhanced Driver’s License that he had exhibited so that he could carry long guns.  Verrastro was subsequently charged by wardens for multiple crimes.

On November 2, 2020, Rutland Superior Court sentenced Verrastro to 30-60 days of incarceration for possessing illegal big game.  Verrastro will lose his privilege to hunt, fish and trap for three years in Vermont and all member states of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

In addition, Verrastro was convicted of a felony count of being a person prohibited from possessing firearms and was sentenced to six months to two years of incarceration.  He was also convicted of a felony count of identity theft and was sentenced to six months to three years of incarceration.  His fines for these convictions totaled $441.

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