HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — A Berkeley County man pleaded no contest to charges which stemmed from a 2013 undercover investigation.

Steven B. Tyson of Hedgesville pleaded no contest in Berkeley County Magistrate Court to seven game law violations.  Tyson was arrested in November 2013 after a lengthy undercover investigation conducted jointly by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Conservation Police.

Tyson was running an illegal deer processing business at his Berkeley County home from September until November of 2013. He was charged with the illegal sale of wildlife in the form of deer bologna, two counts of conspiracy, four counts of illegal possession of wildlife or wildlife parts in the form of two buck heads and antlers.  Tyson was ordered to pay fines and courts costs of $1,261.75.

Tyson’s wife Debra Tyson also pleaded no contest to the illegal sale of wildlife and conspiracy. She was fined $360.50.

During the 2013 raid on the operation at Hedgesville, Tyson’s brother Max Tyson was also charged. His charges remain pending in Berkeley County and in the state of Virginia.

Three others were also cited as a result of the investigation.

Sherman Parsons, 38, of Glengary was charged with killing deer out of season, illegal possession of wildlife, and improper checking of deer. Parsons was fined $540 but also ordered to pay $2,000 in replacement costs for the deer.

Raymond Malcom, 39, of Gerrardstown was cited for illegal possession of wildlife, conspiracy, driving on a suspended license, and no proof of insurance.  He was fined $1,061.

Michael Benner, 19, of Martinsburg was charged with ten counts of illegal transport of wildlife out of state, ten counts of illegal possession of wildlife, and conspiracy to violate game laws.   He was ordered to pay $620 and the possession counts were dismissed.

The investigation revealed the operation was butchering illegally killed deer and selling the processed meat. Some of the meat was sold across state lines in Virginia.

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  • Mountain Navy

    WV Game Wardens could learn a lesson from Maine Game Wardens. They don't fool around.

  • tim

    How can the wv dnr charge a replacement fee, but will not give you a replacement fee if you hit one with your car? Also they sell the license to hunt their deer.

  • WV Common Tater

    It is hard to get angry when a person is making a living from a pest. A pest that destroys the forest, eats your apples and your garden, and increases your car insurance. All for a guy to brag about his prowess as a hunter.

  • Raging Moderate

    All for strong government regulation and enforcement of game laws, raise your hands!

  • Andrew

    I hunt in the EP and that is just the tip of the iceberg, two years ago I was walking to my truck after an evening bow hunting with my tree stand on my back, a car driving slow on a back road stopped and booooom...then pealed off Scared me big time, now it look like a spaceship walking out of the woods... Poachers suck... Period.. Only fines?!!! No wonder ppl think we are backa## redneck outlaws!

  • larry fox

    Should have been $5000.00 fine on each charge on all. No more hunting for 25 years and lost all guns and autos that was used. This is a shame that the courts let them get by.

  • northforkfisher

    Gee with so little fines, I bet profit to fine margin makes it worth doing again. It's hard to tell how much meat they sold before ever being caught. Until we make it harder on the wallet and freedom of poachers, they will continue to do.

  • Jerry

    Are you kidding me? This is all they got? Unbelievable. Some of these people have been doing this illegal stuff for over twenty years. If this is the maximum, then the laws and fines need changed!

  • WV Man

    Looks like home cookin' for poachers in that magistrate's court, or rather mockery of a court.

  • Savage

    Slap on the wrist, and this is to curb bad habits. Insulting to law biding residence.

    • Charleston

      +1. Much agreed.