By Joe Beck
One of the two former Warren County sheriff's deputies who was charged in the wake of an investigation into accusations of illegal hunting in the town of Front Royal has paid a fine, effectively ending the case against him.
Records in Warren County General District Court show that Bradley Pugh, 34, of Front Royal, paid fines and processing fees Tuesday totaling $332 on three charges filed against him by state conservation police.
Pugh was one of three deputies who resigned two days after the hunting violations were reported Nov. 3. Front Royal Police Chief Norman Shiflett said town police Capt. R. Clint Keller called investigators after discovering the three may have been hunting near his home.
Shiflett said department officials decided to pass the investigation to conservation police to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest left by law enforcement officials from one agency investigating another agency with which they have frequent contacts.
Pugh was charged with unlawful, hunting, trapping or fishing without a license and failing to properly dispose of a deer carcass.
A second defendant, Michael A. Robinson, also of Front Royal, still has a court appearance scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 4 on a charge of illegal hunting, according to court records.
Capt. K.C. Clarke, a conservation officer with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said Tuesday his agency undertook the investigation after being notified of possible hunting violations by a member of the Front Royal Police Department.
Clarke said the agency determined that Eric Ramey, a third deputy under investigation, was not involved in any violations and therefore no charges were filed against him.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org