A Pamplin man was convicted Dec. 7 on an amended charge of sell wildlife or fish for more than $200 in a 90-day period. Christopher Powell’s charge was amended from a felony charge to a misdemeanor charge, and he was sentenced to 12 months in jail with 12 months in jail suspended, five years unsupervised probation and was required to pay $252 in court costs. According to online court records, he’s set to be on trial in Buckingham County Circuit Court on Dec. 18 for a charge of conspiracy.
According to to the Code of Virginia, Powell’s charge cites “if any person conspires with another to commit any offense defined in this title or any of the regulations of the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, and one or more such persons does any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, he shall be guilty of conspiracy to commit the underlying offense and shall be subject to the same punishment prescribed for the offense the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.”
According to a previous Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) press release, 10 Virginia residents have been arrested in connection to the investigation and are charged with various felony and misdemeanor violations relating to the unlawful selling of wildlife.
“This undercover investigation was conducted by Virginia Conservation Police Special Agents,” officials said in the release. “Early into this investigation, it became apparent that this was a large-scale enterprise in which the illegal trafficking of wildlife was widespread within a specific group of businesses and individuals.”
DGIF Maj. Scott Naff said the investigation involved quite a few people, some of whom are not in Virginia, noting the state’s attorney general’s office would act as prosecutor in the cases.