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TPWD News Release — Nov. 4, 2010
TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith presented the veteran wildlife law enforcement officer with the prestigious award at the Nov. 4 meeting of the Parks and Wildlife Commission in Austin. TPWD’s Law Enforcement Division joined the Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers in 1995. The law enforcement association is made up of 29 member agencies from the United States and Canada and is the oldest such organization in North America.
Chappell graduated from the 40th Texas Game Warden Training Academy in 1987. After an initial assignment to Sabine County, he transferred to Panola County in 1991 where he was assigned until being promoted to sergeant.
During Chappell’s tenure as a second generation Texas game warden, he has conducted a wide variety of special investigations on a statewide basis. This includes being involved in the recent joint agency Lacey Act investigation, Operation Cimarron, with Kansas, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Texas officers.
Chappell has handled challenging cases such as the illegal importation of deer into Texas that have resulted in federal prison sentences for the convicted offenders. These investigations led to both misdemeanor and felony convictions.
More recently Chappell has been instrumental in the TPWD Commission’s decision to deny issuance of a variety of deer permits to applicants with Lacey Act convictions. He is primarily responsible for investigating complex cases of fish and wildlife-related violations, most of which have some commercial aspect.
Chappell also disseminates wildlife enforcement information to game wardens throughout the state and instructs at the Texas Game Warden Training Center near Hamilton.
When not enforcing the law, Chappell spends time with his wife of 23 years and their 20-year-old son. The Chappell’s live on their farm four miles west of the Louisiana state line near Deadwood in Panola County.