WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — Three residents of Kentucky admitted to illegal hunting and killing deer in Mingo County.
Court documents identified the individuals as Jason Lee Casey, 46, and Jason Lee Casey Jr, 19, both of Freeburn, Kentucky. The third individual was Anthony Craig Hurley, 45, of Elkhorn City, Kentucky.
Three pleaded guilty to 13 various game law violations on June 26th. The charges included hunting without a West Virginia license, hunting out of season, and illegal taking of game. Natural Resources Police said the trio would cross the Tug Fork River on ATV’s along an old railroad trestle and hunt on reclaimed strip mine sites in West Virginia.
“Some folks who live along the border with Kentucky in Mingo County noticed this. They were carrying rifles and going back on the old strip jobs nearby. They would be gone all day and come back with deer at various times throughout the fall,” said Captain Terry Ballard of the West Virginia Natural Resources Police.
Mingo County is one of West Virginia’s four archery only deer hunting counties. Officers in Mingo County began the investigation and during the course of the probe were able to interview the three men. They learned the activity was not just a recent occurrence.
“Though we were only able to deal with what the statue of limitations would let us deal with in the past year, they told us about times in the past seven or eight years they had been doing this on a fairly consistent basis,” Ballard said.
Both fresh and mounted deer heads were located and identified as being illegally killed or possessed and were subsequently confiscated by the Natural Resources police along with the weapons used in the crimes.
Officers with the Kentucky Division of Natural Resources assisted in the investigation and the three face charges in Kentucky as well.
Following court proceedings in Mingo County on June 24, 2020, the three individuals plead guilty to 13 charges related to their wildlife crimes in WV and were assessed a total of $6,821.25 in fines, court costs, and replacement fees.