OLYMPIA - A Washington State Patrol trooper, James A. Long, 35, of Chinook, pleaded not guilty to a number of charges on June 14 in Thurston County Superior Court.

Long, a trooper for seven years, allegedly received $20,000 in state workers compensation benefits when he reported he was unable to work because of a job-related injury but was, at the same time, fishing commercially.

Long pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree theft, eight counts of second-degree theft and three counts of second-degree perjury.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3 at 9 a.m. with a trial slated for the week of Sept. 5. A motion for a change of venue to Pacific County was filed in the Thurston County court.

According to WSP spokesman Capt. Jeff DeVere, Long injured his wrist last year at the State Patrol Academy, collected workers compensation benefits for seven months and returned to a desk job last September. He worked out of the Naselle WSP detachment.

During the time he was collecting the benefits, Long had recorded numerous fishing catches in Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

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