8 charged in Ohio deer poaching case

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Eight people have been charged in a deer poaching case out of Gallia County, which is south of Columbus near the Ohio/West Virginia border.

Investigators with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office reported finding that A&E Deer Processing and associates stole deer meat from hunters and poached 30 white-tailed deer.

A&E is accused of processing more than 700 pounds of meat from hunters who paid A&E to process their deer and then selling it for profit.

The eight people charged face a combined 91 criminal counts:

  • Aaron L. Jones, 32, of Thurman: 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: 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: 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: 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:  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: 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: 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: 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,” Attorney General Dave 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.”

Each of the past two years, more than 180,000 white-tailed deer were harvested in Ohio, according to ODNR.

A recent Ohio State University study found that roughly 9 million hunting trips are taken in Ohio every year, with hunters spending $800 million annually.

Yost lauded the investigative efforts of ODNR and the work of the Environmental Enforcement Section of his office that led to the indictments. 

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