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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : March 23, 2006


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381

Contact: Major Jerry Jenkins , Law Enforcement Section, (304) 558-2784


Beckley Taxidermist Charged with West Virginia Wildlife Law Violations


  A Beckley taxidermist has been charged on several counts of violation of West Virginia 's wildlife laws, according to Major Jerry Jenkins of the Law Enforcement Section of the Division of Natural Resources.


  DNR Corporal Doug Lilly and Conservation Officer Dennis Feazell started an investigation of an illegal deer kill on Little Beaver State Park in Raleigh County , which led to a taxidermist being found in possession of a hawk. Deputy Raymond Hall and Deputy Jason Ballengee of the Raleigh County Sheriff's Department and Conservation Officers Bobby Cales and Chris Lester of DNR's District IV office in Beckley assisted in executing a search warrant on Frank Gilkerson's residence on Cranberry Drive, Beckley.


  Their search led them to a large amount of marijuana, which, according to statements taken from Mr. Gilkerson, was grown on Little Beaver State Park. Mr. Gilkerson, age 39, was immediately arrested on February 3, 2006 , on a charge of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.


  After numerous follow-ups, Mr. Gilkerson was charged with illegal possession of a hawk, illegal possession of a cub black bear (less than 100 lbs.), hunting on a state park, taking during closed season (deer), discharging a firearm within a state park, carrying an uncased gun on a state park, illegal possession of wildlife, failure to check deer, illegal possession of two 8 point bucks, illegal possession of a 9-point buck, and hunting without a license. Mr. Gilkerson's pre-trial in magistrate court is scheduled for March 24 on the charge of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. The additional wildlife law violation charges will go to pre-trial on April 28. The Raleigh County Sheriff's Department will pursue felony charges on the marijuana possession.


  The investigation also led to the arrest of Scott Lilly, age 34, of Jumping Branch in Summers County , who was charged with illegal possession of wildlife (hawk) and illegal possession of a 9-point buck. Following a magistrate's court hearing Mr. Lilly paid a $200 fine with $153.50 court cost and a $100 replacement fee for the hawk. A court date is pending on charges relating to the illegally possessed buck.   



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