- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A Georgia man convicted in Ohio of charges involving illegal trafficking in white-tailed deer was ordered to pay $1.6 million in fines and restitution.

Federal officials say is the largest sum of money an individual has been ordered to pay for a U.S. wildlife crime.

Federal prosecutors say 61-year-old Benjamin Chason, of Climax, Georgia, pleaded guilty in May and was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Columbus for three charges related to Lacey Act violations. Court documents unsealed this week say he received three years’ probation. A message was left for his attorney.

Authorities say Chason and a co-conspirator trafficked in live white-tailed deer and sold illegal white-tailed deer hunts at a hunting preserve in Ohio’s Logan County. Chason partly owned the preserve and owned Georgia property containing white-tailed deer.

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This story has been corrected to show that the Ohio preserve was in Logan County, not Logan, Ohio.

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