Two Men Plead Guilty to Charges of Illegal Selling of Deer Meat

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Two West Virginia men have pled guilty to charges of selling deer meat intended for distribution to local needy residents, according to Lt. Col. William Daniel of the Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Section. The pleas were made in Hancock Circuit Court May 18 after Roy S. Alboszta of Weirton , the owner of Roy 's Deer Processing, and his employee, Russell Lynch of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, had been arrested in April on multiple charges of violation of state wildlife laws. Brooke County Conservation Officer Steve Himmelrick filed the charges.

Alboszta pled guilty to two counts of illegal sale of wildlife, two counts of obtaining deer meat by false pretenses, and one count of illegal possession of wildlife. He paid total fines and court costs of $5,500. He had originally been charged with 33 different related counts. Lynch pleaded guilty to one count of illegal sale of wildlife and was given a total of $140 in fines and court costs.

The arrests were made as the result of a three-month investigation that began with information provided by a concerned sportsman that indicated that wild game food products were being sold illegally from Roy 's Deer Processing in Weirton . Conservation officers from WVDNR, in conjunction with the Brooke-Hancock Drug Task Force, Brooke County Sheriff's Department and the Weirton Police Department, conducted a sting operation in which wild game meats were purchased by undercover officers. Search warrants were obtained and a search resulted in the seizure of untagged wild game meat, processing paraphernalia, and processing records.

Roy 's Deer Processing had previously been designated as a processing and collection site for wild game meats donated by hunters for distribution to needy residents by C.H.A.N.G.E. Inc. and the Weirton Salvation Army. Costs of processing were to be paid by local donations. However, the investigation determined that at least 11 deer that had been donated during the 2003 hunting seasons were not distributed by Roy 's Deer Processing to the participating organizations. Sgt. C.D. Shriner of the DNR District 1 office in Marion County says part of the penalties paid by the two men will go to C.H.A.N.G.E. Inc. and the Weirton Salvation Army.