Some 2022 poaching case antlers

Pictured are some of the antlers confiscated by West Virginia Natural Resources Police in a large-scale poaching case. West Virginia’s largest known deer poaching case that spanned three counties was voted as co-top local story of 2022.

KEYSER, W.Va. — Seven of eight area residents, including two former sheriff deputies and a past Allegany County emergency medical services chief, sentenced in West Virginia’s largest known deer poaching case have had their hunting licenses revoked, for now.

The case — which spanned three counties, involved rotating judges, multiple attorneys and large data storage devices to hold massive digital files — lasted nearly a year.

The Cumberland Times-News has obtained documents from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources that show the status of hunting licenses for defendants, all of Keyser, in the case.

“Inasmuch as the requested records existing at this time have been disclosed, (DNR) now considers this matter closed,” the organization’s director Brett McMillion wrote in response to the newspaper’s request for public records.

BackgroundIn January 2022, West Virginia Natural Resources Police Lt. Timothy L. White said 223 charges that involved at least 27 antlered bucks taken illegally were filed in Mineral, Grant and Hampshire counties.

At that time, Mineral County sheriff deputies Tyler Biggs and Dalton Dolly were charged in the case and resigned from their jobs.

Christopher Biggs was the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services EMS chief and suspended from his job for “alleged violation of law,” county officials said at the time.

Others charged were Colton Broadwater, Ivy Rodehaver, Robert Horner Sr., Robert “Beau” Horner Jr. and Gregory Broadwater.

Police said the offenses started in mid September and continued through late December 2021.

Charges included trophy fees based upon antler size, spotlighting and loaded guns in vehicles.

Stacks of NRP reports at the Mineral County Magistrate Court office detailed how officers conducted interviews, obtained warrants, confiscated antlers and retrieved cell phone data.

“January 4, 2022, looked through the digital evidence and was able to put dates of kills with the pictures of the bucks that we had already confiscated as well as numerous other bucks that we did not have pictures of,” stated one of many entries written by NRP officers. “Several videos were obtained depicting spotlighting and illegal kills … as well as instant messages, Facebook messages and cellphone location details.”

Plea deals in Mineral County Magistrate Court were offered to and accepted by all of the defendants and included fines and court costs.

Plea agreements, except for Horner Sr. who didn’t receive jail time, included provisions for home incarceration and ankle monitors.

RevocationsAccording to DNR records, hunting licenses are revoked for the following time periods:

• Tyler Biggs — 8-11-2022 to 8-11-2032 for various citations.

• Dolly — 6-13-22 to 6-13-2024 for spotlighting.

• Christopher Biggs — 12-2-2022 to 12-2-2024 for spotlighting.

• Colton Broadwater — 6-6-2022 to 6-6-2032 for various citations.

• Rodehaver — 8-16-2022 to 8-16-2024 for spotlighting.

• Horner Sr. — 7-19-2022 to 7-19-2024 for accumulation of points assigned to various violations.

• Horner Jr. — 7-19-2022 to 7-19-2027 for trophy wildlife revocation.

There is no indication from DNR that a lifetime hunting license obtained 3-12-2001 by Gregory Broadwater has been revoked.

The National Association of Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs website states that a Wildlife Violator Compact includes reciprocal recognition of license privilege suspension by member states.

Most states, including Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, are members of the compact.

Under the compact, “wildlife law violators are held accountable due to the fact that their illegal activities in one state can affect their privileges in all participating states.”

The cooperative interstate effort “enhances the ability to protect and manage our wildlife resources for the benefit of citizens (of) all members states.”

Teresa McMinn is a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News. She can be reached at 304-639-2371 or tmcminn@times-news.com.

React to this story:

2
1
1
1
16

Trending Video

Recommended for you