Investigation leads to four more convictions

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AKRON – Further investigation into a Minerva meat market that illegally bought and sold venison over the counter has resulted in the convictions of four more people on a variety of wildlife violations.

In November, John W. and Joanne Schneider, owners of Pine Hill Meats, were convicted of various counts related to the commercialization of Ohio wildlife, a third-degree misdemeanor.

The Schneiders were ordered to pay a total of $9,000 in fines and restitution to the state. John Schneider also received a jail sentence.

Charged and convicted

Last week, four more east Ohio residents appeared in Columbiana County Municipal Court on charges related to the Pine Hill Meats case. All were convicted of a variety of state wildlife violations. They were:

Joseph Curfman, 26, of East Rochester, was convicted of hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, failure to temporarily tag deer and selling deer meat.

He was ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and restitution, serve three days in jail and 50 hours of community service. He was placed on two years’ probation and his hunting privileges were suspended for two years.

Brian Butream, 40, of Bergholz, was convicted of three counts of selling deer meat. He was ordered to pay $1,100 in fines and restitution, serve one year of probation and complete 40 hours of community service.

He also lost all hunting privileges in Ohio for two years.

Craig Marsh, 26, of Beloit, was convicted of one count of selling white-tailed deer meat.

He was found guilty and ordered to pay $500 in fines and restitution.

Shane Powell, 18, of Alliance, was convicted of one count of possessing untagged deer. He was ordered to pay $200 in fines and complete 20 hours of community service. He was placed on probation for one year.

Caught

Anonymous tips from concerned hunters sparked the undercover investigation into illegal activities at Pine Hill Meats.

Established in 1982, the Turn-In-A-Poacher Program allows Ohioans to call a toll-free number from anywhere in the state to report wildlife violations.

Calls regarding wildlife violations can be placed anonymously at 1-800-POACHER.

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