January 16 – KEYSER, W.Va. – Seven of the eight area residents, including two former sheriff deputies and a former chief of the Allegany County Emergency Medical Service, who were convicted in West Virginia’s largest known deer poaching case have had their hunting licenses provisionally revoked.
The case — which spanned three counties, involving rotating judges, multiple attorneys, and large data storage devices for massive digital files — lasted nearly a year.
The Cumberland Times-News has obtained documents from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources showing the status of hunting licenses for defendants, all of Keyser, in the case.
“As the requested records that exist at this time have been made public, (DNR) now considers this matter closed,” the organization’s director, Brett McMillion, wrote in response to the paper’s request for public records.
Background In January 2022, Lieutenant Timothy L. White of the West Virginia Natural Resources Police said 223 charges had been filed in Mineral, Grant and Hampshire counties involving at least 27 antler bucks illegally captured.
At that time, Mineral County Sheriff’s Deputies Tyler Biggs and Dalton Dolly were charged in the case and resigned.
Christopher Biggs was the chief of the EMS division of the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services and was suspended for “alleged violation of law,” county officials said at the time.
Others indicted were Colton Broadwater, Ivy Rodehaver, Robert Horner Sr., Robert “Beau” Horner Jr. and Gregory Broadwater.
Police said the violations began in mid-September and continued into late December 2021.
The cost includes prizes for trophies based on antler size, floodlights, and loaded weapons in vehicles.
Reams of NRP reports at the Mineral County Magistrate Court office detail how officers conducted interrogations, obtained warrants, seized antlers, and retrieved cell phone records.
“January 4, 2022, reviewed the digital evidence and was able to put dates of murders with the photos of the money we had already seized, as well as numerous other dollars that we had no photos of,” read one of many entries written by NRP officers. “Several videos were obtained depicting spotlights and illegal killings…as well as instant messages, Facebook messages and cell phone location data.”
Plea deals in Mineral County Magistrate Court were offered to and accepted by all defendants and included fines and court costs.
Plea deals, except for Horner Sr. those that did not receive jail time included home confinement and ankle monitor provisions.
RevocationsAccording to DNR data, hunting licenses are revoked for the following periods:
—Tyler Biggs — 11/8/2022 to 11/8/2032 for various quotes.
—Dolly — 6-13-22 to 6-13-2024 for spotlights.
—Christopher Biggs — 2/12/2022 to 2/12/2024 for spotlights.
—Colton Broadwater — 6/6/2022 to 6/6/2032 for various quotes.
—Rodehaver — 8-16-2022 to 8-16-2024 for spotlights.
-Horner Sr. – 7/19/2022 to 7/19/2024 for accumulating points allocated to various infractions.
—Horner Jr. — 7/19/2022 to 7/19/2027 for Wildlife trophy revocation.
There is no evidence from DNR that a lifetime hunting license obtained on 12/3/2001 by Gregory Broadwater has been revoked.
The National Association of Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs website states that a Wildlife Violator Compact includes the mutual recognition of the suspension of license fees by member states.
Most states, including Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, are members of the pact.
According to the pact, “violators of natural law are held accountable for the fact that their illegal activities in one state may affect their privileges in all participating states.”
The cooperative interstate effort “enhances the ability to protect and manage our natural resources for the benefit of the citizens (of) all member states.”
Teresa McMinn is a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News. She can be reached at 304-639-2371 or [email protected]