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Arrest Made in Illegal Killing of Hollywood Buck

It turns out that posting a picture of you doing an illegal thing can end with your arrest.

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In December it was shared that the famed Hollywood Buck had been poached. It turns out that posting a picture of you doing an illegal thing can end with your arrest.

Good news an arrest has been made. Press Release from DWR

Jason Walters, 36, of Richmond, Va., was arrested on Sunday, January 28th, and charged with 19 separate wildlife violations related to the illegal killing of three deer during the recent hunting season. Among those deer was the renowned Hollywood Buck. The charges against Walters include illegal possession of wildlife, trespassing, failing to check and tag a deer, earn a buck violation, and littering.

The investigation, which involved a significant number of Conservation Police Officers (CPOs) and the execution of 10 search warrants, resulted in the recovery of two sets of antlers, including those from the Hollywood Buck. Alan Proffitt, 36, of Richmond, Va., who is believed to be an accomplice, is also facing pending charges.

In December 2023, the primary suspect had shared photos of himself with a nontypical 29-point buck on the Star City Whitetails Facebook page, claiming to have harvested the deer in Prince Edward County, Virginia, using a muzzleloader. Concerned members of the hunting and wildlife viewing communities recognized the buck as one that frequented the Hollywood Cemetery in the Oregon Hill neighborhood of Richmond. They alerted Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) Law Enforcement, suspecting that the buck had been killed illegally. The Hollywood Cemetery buck was well-known for its large and distinctive antlers, making it easily identifiable.

Major Ryan Shuler, Deputy Chief of DWR Law Enforcement, praised the work of those involved in the investigation, “Our officers immediately began their investigation upon learning of the potential violation of Virginia’s wildlife laws. The CPOs involved in the investigation devoted countless hours to gathering evidence in this case. We appreciate the support of the Richmond and Chesterfield County police departments, as well as Hollywood Cemetery and the James River Park System in bringing the suspect to justice. The illegal killing of this deer was a blow to the community and damaged the reputation of law- abiding hunters across the Commonwealth.”

Conservation Police Officers are fully certified officers through the Department of Criminal Justice Services, with the authority to enforce all of the laws of Virginia. As Deputy US Fish and Wildlife Special Agents, they may also conduct investigations and cross state lines when violations of federal wildlife laws have been committed.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.