KEYSER — A former Mineral County deputy has begun a 30-day home jail sentence for his role in West Virginia’s largest-ever poaching case.
Dalton Dolly, who resigned as he was being investigated, started the sentence Tuesday as part of a plea agreement reached last week. He has to pay $20 a day for the ankle bracelet he wears and he is prohibited from having firearms or alcohol during the month.
He also must pay $160 in fines, $700 in court costs and a $500 replacement fee for a deer he shot illegally that had a rack of at least 14 inches.
The Natural Resource Police, which launched the massive investigation, signed off on the deal in Mineral County magistrate court.
Dolly and the other 7 defendants are all from Mineral County. Ties between the prosecutor’s office, magistrate court and the sheriff’s office — which employed Dolly and another defendant, Tyler Biggs, as deputies — there led to both a magistrate and prosecutor being called in from out-of-county.
The prosecutor is Hampshire County’s Rebecca Miller and the magistrate is Grant County’s Emory Feaster Jr.
Biggs and father-and-son defendants Gregory and Colton Broadwater have all reached plea agreements in the case.
Pleas have been offered to the other 4 defendants — Biggs’ father, Christopher; Ivy Rodeheaver and another father and son, Robert Horner Sr. and Robert “Beau” Horner Jr. They all have hearings this week in Mineral County magistrate’s court.
In late January Natural Resource Police charged the 8 defendants with 223 counts of illegal hunting activities from spotlighting to exceeding limits. Two felony counts against Christopher Biggs were dismissed; all the rest are misdemeanors. One charge was in Hampshire County, a handful were in Grant and the rest in Mineral.
The charges said the defendants took at least 27 antlered deer, many of them trophy bucks, last fall.