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6th person charged in investigation of illegal hunting, trapping in Westmoreland County

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Saturday, June 7, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

A sixth person has been charged in the aftermath of a two-year investigation into illegal hunting, trapping and butchering practices in Westmoreland County.

Keith Stiles, 61, of New Alexandria faces 177 charges, mostly related to illegally trapping dozens of animals, including muskrats, raccoons, red foxes and coyotes.

Stiles does not have a hunting license but allegedly hunted and trapped animals, according to the charges filed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. He allegedly sold the pelts while using the license of another man, Randy S. Fink, 51, of New Alexandria.

Fink was charged this week with 53 hunting-related offenses, many of which stem from allegedly allowing Stiles to use his license.

This is not the first time Stiles has been charged for hunting illegally. His hunting license was revoked in 2009 for prior offenses. In late 2013, he was charged with 15 counts of illegally taking or possessing game or wildlife. He pleaded guilty to 11 of the charges and was fined more than $1,200. The other four counts were dismissed.

He is charged with six counts of hunting while his privileges were revoked, 67 counts of illegally taking or possessing game or wildlife, 45 counts of illegally selling furs and 56 counts of trapping without a permit.

Three charges were filed against him related to marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia found in his home, according to the affidavit filed by Game Commission officers.

His arrest is the latest in a series of hunting-related charges that involved illegally taking deer and other wildlife and selling their meat and pelts. In addition to Stiles and Fink, four others have been charged.

William M. Rhoades, 64, of Derry is charged with illegally butchering deer and selling venison and moonshine.

Carol A. Fink, 43, Randy Fink's wife, and her son, Calvin T. Bish, 25, both of New Alexandria, have been charged with hunting out of season and lending their kill tags to Randy Fink.

Brett A. Weimer, 42, a butcher from New Alexandria, has been charged with illegally buying and selling game.

More charges are expected to be filed in the case, according to the Game Commission.

Jacob Tierney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6646 or jtierney@tribweb.com.

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