By Chris Lawrence
A three month investigation by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries resulted in the arrest of six West Virginia residents in an extensive deer poaching ring.
West Virginia Natural Resources Police executed a search warrant at two homes in Hedgesville, W.Va. and uncovered an extensive deer processing operation. The investigation revealed the group was routinely killing deer in West Virginia, processing the meat, and shipping it across state lines to be sold.
“Early into this investigation it became apparent that this was a large scale operation which was in fact illegally killing wildlife, processing and selling it and potentially transporting it out of West Virginia,” said Captain T.R. Stuckey of the West Virginia Natural Resources Police “Once these facts were established by numerous undercover buys of wildlife and wildlife parts in West Virginia by our undercover officers, a joint investigation was launched in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.”
Officers started the probe in September after getting information they group may have been illegally killing deer. They were also getting large numbers of crop damage permits from various farmers and other individuals in the eastern panhandle.
Virginia Conservation Police working undercover made numerous buys of butchered deer from the eastern panhandle operation. Undercover officers from both states were also able to buy illegal drugs in both states from the same suspects.
The search warrant which yielded the illegal deer processing operation also yielded 341 marijuana plants at the home of brothers Steve and Max Tyson Jr. of Hedgesville. The brothers along with Steve Tyson’s wife Debra Tyson are charged with multiple game law and drug violations in West Virginia. They face a range of charges in Virginia as well. Also arrested in the case Sherman Parsons Jr., 38, of Glengary, W.Va., Raymond Malcom, 39, of Gerrardstown, W.Va., and Michael Benner, 19, of Martinsburg, [sic\.
The summary of charges: More....