Eight charged for poaching white-tailed deer, stealing deer meat in Gallia County

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FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2011 file photo, a mature white-tailed deer buck stands alertly in a suburban neighborhood in Moreland Hills, Ohio. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

GALLIA COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – Eight people have been indicted by a grand jury in Gallia County, Ohio, on multiple felony charges of poaching white-tailed deer and stealing meat from hunters.

According to Ohio Attorney General David Yost, a deer meat processing operation, A&E Deer Processing, and its associates allegedly poached 30 white-tailed deer in Ohio and stole more than 700 pounds of deer meat from hunters who paid the business to process their deer. Yost’s office says the business allegedly sold that stolen meat for a profit.

The charges stem from a joint investigation by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Enforcement Section of Yost’s office. Yost says, combined, the eight people are facing a total of 91 criminal counts. Those facing charges include:

  • Aaron L. Jones, 32, of Thurman faces 13 counts including: engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (F1), complicity to telecommunications fraud (F4), tampering with records (F3), theft (F5), receiving (disposing of) stolen property (F5), complicity to falsification (F5), money laundering (F3), illegal sale of wild animal parts (F5), possession of untagged deer parts (M3), possession of untagged deer meat (M3), over bag limit of antlered deer taken in a season (M3), providing false data when game checking a deer (two counts, M3), jacklighting (M3)
  • Brittney E. Marcum, 31, of Thurman faces 10 counts including: engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (F1), telecommunications fraud (F4), complicity to tampering with records (F3), complicity to theft (F5), complicity to receiving (disposing of) stolen property (F5),   falsification (F5), complicity to money laundering (F3), complicity to illegal sale of wild animal parts (F5), possession of untagged deer parts (M3), possession of untagged deer meat (M3), providing false data when game checking a deer (M3)
  • Randy L. Jones  Jr., 64, of Thurman faces 15 counts including: engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (F1), complicity to telecommunications fraud (F4), complicity to tampering with records (F3), complicity to theft (F5), complicity to receiving (disposing of) stolen property (F5), complicity to falsification (F5), complicity to money laundering (F3), complicity to illegal sale of wild animal parts (F5), possession of untagged deer parts (M3), possession of untagged deer meat (M3), possession of untagged turkey parts (M4), receiving stolen property – firearm (F4), over bag limits of antlered deer taken in a season (M3), attached antlerless game check confirmation number to antlered deer (M3), providing false data when game checking a deer (M3)
  • Charlotte F. Jones, 63, of Thurman faces 13 counts including: engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (F1), complicity to telecommunications fraud (F4), complicity to tampering with records (F3), complicity to theft (F5), complicity to receiving (disposing of) stolen property (F5), complicity to falsification (F5), complicity to money laundering (F3), complicity to illegal sale of wild animal parts (F5), possession of untagged deer parts (M3), possession of untagged deer meat (M3), possession of untagged turkey parts (M4), receiving stolen property – firearm (F4), providing false data when game checking a deer (M3)
  • James E. Copley, 58, of Thurman faces 16 counts including:  engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity (F1), complicity to theft (F5), complicity to money laundering (F3), complicity to illegal sale of wild animal parts (F5), tampering with records (F3), theft (F5), possession of untagged deer parts (M3), possession of untagged deer meat (M3), unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance (F5), aiding a wildlife offender:  accepting deer without a game check (M3), providing false data when game checking a deer (M3), hunting deer with an illegal hunting implement (M3), providing false data when game checking a deer (three counts, M3), hunting deer with an illegal hunting implement (M3)
  • Justin M. Wells, 36, of Thurman faces 10 counts including: theft (F5), failure to game check a deer (five counts, M3), over bag limit of deer taken in a season (M3), possession of untagged deer parts (M3), possession of untagged turkey parts (M4), jacklighting (M3)
  • William C. Gilbert, 27, of Thurman faces 10 counts including: tampering with records (F3), grand theft (F4), possession of untagged deer parts (M3), possession of untagged deer meat (M3), jacklighting (M3), hunting deer with an illegal hunting implement (two counts, M3), failure to game check a deer (M3), jacklighting (M3), failure to game check a deer (M3)
  • Justin F. Butterfield, 23, of Brice faces 2 counts including: theft (F5), failure to game check a deer (M3)

“Deer hunting is a deep-rooted tradition in Ohio, with generations having been taught the values of conservation, responsibility and discipline,” Yost said. “This level of corruption violates those tenets, and protecting and preserving this part of our heritage are important to all sportsmen and -women.”

Yost called hunting deer and other game animals an “economic boon” for the state with an Ohio State University study showing approximately nine million hunting trips are taken in Ohio every year, with hunters spending $800 million per year in the Buckeye State. The ODNR says more than 180,000 white-tailed deer were harvested each year in the past two years.

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