A four-month investigation into a deer poaching ring with roots in Pennsylvania led to the arrests of four men from Maine this week.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Maine Warden Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were involved in the probe of four men who are suspected of poaching in Bradford County, Pa., and Maine.

Arrested were Everett Tyler Leonard, 31, Carlton “John” Enos, 19, E.H. “Lenny” Leonard, 59, and Jason Clifford, 27, all of Turner, Maine.

According to a press release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Maine Warden Service received information during the summer of 2010 that the Leonards had killed large numbers of deer, violating the legal limit.

An investigation confirmed the information. The probe continued through December, during which time the Warden Service detected nearly 150 violations of Maine’s hunting laws.

The investigation led Maine Warden Service investigators to Pennsylvania, where an investigation involving the Warden Service and the Pennsylvania Game Commission ensued.

The commission’s conservation officers allege hundreds of violations by the suspects in October and December in Bradford County. Tim Conway, information and education supervisor for the commission’s Northeast Region, said the violations occurred during the early muzzleloader season in October and the rifle deer season in December.

Conway said commission officials and the Bradford County District Attorney’s Office are still reviewing the violations and charges are pending.

Because the alleged violations involve big game, they will fall under a recently enacted Pennsylvania law that increases the penalties for poaching. As a result, Conway said, jail time is very possible. He said the violations occurred on state game lands and private property.

The men operated out of a trailer in Bradford County and have been coming to the state for several years, he said.

Officials from the Pennsylvania Game Commission went to Maine this week to help execute search warrants, and wildlife officials seized firearms, deer meat, antlers, bows, a hawk, owls, a computer, documents and other hunting-related equipment.

Thomas Grohol, special operations chief for the commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Protection, said the four suspects will be extradited to Pennsylvania.