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.