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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : November 18, 2005


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Capt. Jerry Jenkins, DNR Law Enforcement Section District 2

(304) 822-3551


Three Men Convicted of Twenty Wildlife Law Violations


  Three out-of-state men have been convicted and fined on 20 criminal charges involving an illegal bear kill in the eastern panhandle, according to Captain Jerry Jenkins of the Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement District 2 office in Romney.


  On the evening of October 20, 2005 , West Virginia conservation officers received information that a large bear had been killed illegally on Greenwalt Gap in Pendleton County . Conservation officers Brian Nuzum ( Grant County ), Dwayne Duffield ( Pendleton County ), and Sgt. Mike Willenborg started an in-depth investigation of the allegations. Conservation officers conducted numerous interviews and located the bear in question at the “Hang-Em High” taxidermy shop in Petersburg , WV . Officers closely examined the bear and determined it had been illegally killed by use of a firearm during closed season. The live weight of the bear was estimated at 350 pounds. Further investigation uncovered numerous wildlife law violations committed from October 16 thru October 21, 2005 .


  The investigation resulted in a total of 20 criminal charges being filed against three individuals. Jack M. Merwin of St. Augustine, Florida and Jack D. Merwin of Washington, D.C. were both convicted of the following charges: illegal killing of a black bear with a firearm during closed season; conspiring to violate the bear laws; illegal possession of wildlife – deer; illegal possession of wildlife – bear; hunting on Sunday; conspiracy to violate Chapter 20 (WV State Code wildlife laws) – illegal transport of wildlife – bear; and conspiracy to violate Chapter 20 – illegal transport of illegally killed game. These offenses occurred in Pendleton County . Additionally, Jack D. Merwin was convicted of having a loaded gun in a motor vehicle and conspiring to violate chapter 20 in Grant County . Henri Bos of St. Augustine , Florida , was convicted of the following in Pendleton County magistrate court: failure to field tag deer, failure to check deer, illegal possession of wildlife – doe, hunting on Sunday, hunting after killing legal deer, conspiracy to violate chapter 20 – illegal transport of illegally killed game.


  In total, these individuals were assessed fines and costs of $4,395, including $500 forfeiture for the illegally killed bear, and all are subject to hunting license revocations, as provided by West Virginia state law.


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