AUGUSTA — A Mount Vernon man indicted in August on 57 charges related to violating hunting laws has pleaded guilty to one felony charge of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Some 41 other charges, all misdemeanors, remain pending against Joseph A. Deleskey, 39, in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Deleskey is free on bail following his guilty plea on Friday, and his attorney, Walter McKee, told a judge at that hearing he will be seeking to have the remaining fish and game counts consolidated — including 21 charges of night hunting — as well as other charges.

Earlier, McKee had successfully argued that the 15 felony charges of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm should be condensed into one count.

McKee said his client couldn’t be charged 15 times for “possession of one gun, even if it’s on different dates.”

On Friday, Deleskey pleaded guilty to a charge that indicated he possessed the firearm on a number of occasions between Oct. 14, 2010, and Dec. 4, 2011. Sentencing was postponed to a later date.

Deleskey had been convicted on Feb. 3, 2000, in Salem District Court in Massachusetts of assault with a dangerous weapon, a conviction which prohibited him from having firearms.

Assistant District Attorney Joelle Pratt said the hunting charges resulted from a two-year undercover investigation by the Maine Warden Service into illegal hunting.

Deleskey’s remaining charges could go to trial in May, the judge noted.

In a separate hearing Friday, also in Kennebec County Superior Court, Harley O’Neal, 33, of Canaan, pleaded guilty to unlawful trafficking in marijuana and was sentenced to two years in jail, with all but 15 days suspended, and two years of probation. He agreed to forfeiture of $2,446 in cash that was seized when he was arrested Dec. 28, 2012, in Waterville.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]

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