Two Men Plead Guilty to Illegal Wildlife Possession

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Two Rockcastle County men have pled guilty to 14 counts each of illegal possession of wildlife, and were ordered by the court to pay fines totaling $25,000, complete 150 hours of community service and serve jail time.

Following a two-month investigation by state wildlife and boating officers Steve Isaacs and Sgt. Rex Burkhead, Michael McKinney, 22 and Jonathan McKinney, 26, both of Mt. Vernon, were arrested and charged in September with illegal possession of 58 whitetail deer and 31 wild turkey. Both violators also had their hunting licenses suspended for five consecutive years.

Equipment confiscated and awarded to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) by the court included 23 firearms, two bows, 12 knives, numerous deer and turkey-related taxidermy items, and a videotape of many of the wildlife violations, along with footage of marijuana cultivation and processing. The Rockcastle County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation was awarded $2,500 of the bond monies in this case at the request of Officer Isaacs. Kentucky State Trooper Coby Smith also assisted in the case, and the Rockcastle County Attorney Jeff Burdette was instrumental in prosecuting the offenders.

"The department and I are very pleased with the support of the county attorney's office on this case, and the citizens of Rockcastle County who support wildlife conservation," said Officer Isaacs.

Micheal McKinney served 45 days and Jonathan McKinney 15 days in the Rockcastle County jail before being released on probation.