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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 16, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1: Dan R. Alexander, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Brandon Lloyd Russell.

Attorneys 2: Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Robert Homlar, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

Following a bench trial, the Defendant-Appellant, Brandon Lloyd Russell, was convicted of two counts of violating a commercial fishing proclamation that prohibited cutting paddlefish to check for eggs or “roe.” The trial court sentenced Russell to two consecutive six-month sentences, which the trial court suspended and ordered him to serve on probation. In addition, the trial court allowed the State to retain the property that was seized as a part of these offenses, ordered Russell to serve eighty hours of community service, and suspended Russell’s hunting and fishing license for three years and his commercial fishing license for six years, retroactive to the date of the offenses. On appeal, Russell argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss the charges because: (1) the General Assembly, in enacting Tennessee Code Annotated section 70-4-102, unlawfully delegated its legislative authority to enact criminal law, thereby violating the constitutional separation of powers doctrine; (2) the relevant wildlife proclamations were not valid because the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission was improperly constituted at the time that the proclamations were enacted; and (3) he had insufficient notice of the wildlife proclamations and, therefore, insufficient notice of the criminal offenses with which he was charged. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.