PICKENS COUNTY—Seven area residents have been arrested after a four year investigation into what authorities are calling illegal black bear activity.
According to Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the South Carolina Attorney General’s office, the seven men with various crimes including baiting and killing black bears.
Those arrested include: Charles Claude Blowers of Sunset, David Winston Brown of Liberty, Ty Cooper Mills of Marietta, Thomas Elliot Mann of Travelers Rest, Jason Russell Sullivan of Central, Wesley Caylor Hedden of Pickens and Sherwood Lanier Patterson of Seneca.
The seven men face charges such as baiting bear, killing an undersized bear, killing a bear sow with cubs, trespassing, Wildlife Management land abuse, hunting license violations, distribution of marijuana, and conspiracy to violate South Carolina game laws.
The seven men were taken to the Pickens County Detention Center after being arrested.
The violations, according to DNR officials, could result in fines from $500 to $2,500, and/or jail time ranging from 30 days to two years of incarceration.
DNR Law Enforcement officials are continuing investigations into illegal black bear activities.