Wildlife Violators

Wildlife Violators 2017-10-13T11:20:42+00:00

Wildlife Violators

Operation Game Thief pays rewards to citizens who turn in poachers to a New Mexico Conservation Officers (Fish and Game Wardens).File a secure and anonymous report online to earn rewards when you help us solve these cold cases. Visit the main Operation Game Thief page to learn more about this New Mexico Department of Game and Fish program, which pays citizens who turn in poachers.

Past Offenders

2017

Jonah Z. Madden
35, Silver City, NM
Convictions: 3 counts of unlawful possession of deer parts
Plea: No contest to 3 counts of unlawful possession in Grant County Magistrate on January 12, 2017
Penalties: Between Santa Fe and Chaves County Magistrate Courts, McClure paid $1264 in fines and court costs.
Civil penalties: $900.00 are owed for 3 mule deer and 1 turkey.

Case Summary: On July 19, 2016, Game and Fish Officers were told by Grant County Sheriff Deputies that a vehicle used by Jonah Madden might have a dead deer inside of it. Corporal Adan Jacquez responded to the location of the parked vehicle and did a thorough search of the outside of the vehicle’s body. Blood and deer hair was seen on the body of the vehicle and Deputies stated that during their initial contact on the domestic disturbance call, an acquaintance to Jonah had said he had a deer in the vehicle. Corporal Jacquez obtained a search warrant and a fresh, headless mule deer doe was located inside of the vehicle. Madden had apparently cut the head off of the doe in an attempt to conceal it’s sex even though there is no deer hunting season in July. An arrest warrant was obtained for Jonah, however, he could not be located. During Corporal Jacquez’s investigation he learned of additional deer being kept at a house used by Jonah. An additional search warrant was obtained and parts of two additional deer were found within the residence along with parts of a turkey. On August 4, 2016, Jonah was arrested and booked into Grant County Detention Center on 4 counts of unlawful possession of deer and turkey and 1 count of unlawful hunting. He later agreed to a plea deal and plead no contest to three charges of unlawful possession of deer. As a condition of his agreement, Jonah was ordered by Judge Maurine Laney to spend 15 days in the county jail.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 24 and GMU 16B
Additional Information:  –

Daniel Gutierrez
46, Edgewood, NM
Convictions: License Issued to Another, Criminal Trespass, and Unlawful Possession of Big Game
Plea: No Contest to License Issued to Another, Criminal Trespass, and Unlawful Possession of Big Game in Lincoln County Magistrate, Carrizozo, NM on 2/14/17
Penalties: $500 fines plus $229 court fees. Required by the courts to forfeit his Custom Tikka 7mm Long Range rifle and scope to the NM Dept. of Game and Fish.
Civil penalties: $4,000 in civil penalties.

Case Summary: On February 13th, 2016, NM Dept. of Game and Fish Conservation Officer Zach Chavez initiated an investigation into 6 individuals reported to be trespassing on private property where one of them had killed a Barbary sheep. When Officer Chavez arrived on scene, he saw the 6 individuals walking on posted Rio Hondo private property. An individual named Daniel Gutierrez had killed a Barbary sheep on the Rio Hondo private property which was legally posted against criminal trespass. Officer Chavez checked Daniel Gutierrez’s Barbary sheep hunting license and saw that he was using a license belonging to Pat Luna. Daniel had signed Pat Luna’s license and punched a hole in it to tag the sheep. Officer Chavez seized Daniel Gutierrez’s custom Tikka 7 MM Long Range rifle and scope. Officer Chavez also seized the illegally killed Barbary sheep and the license issued to Pat Luna. The other 5 trespassers with Gutierrez were cited and one was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant. NM Dept. of Game and Fish Corporal Tyson Sanders who was assisting with the investigation recognized Daniel from Facebook pictures of him posing with another Barbary sheep he had killed a month earlier in December. Officer Sanders later found a witness who saw Daniel Gutierrez kill the Barbary sheep in December of 2015. On February 16th, 2016, NM Dept. of Game and Fish Conservation Officer John Martsh located a Barbary sheep hide brought into a taxidermy shop in Albuquerque between 11/24/15 and 1/4/16. The shop owner said Daniel called him the night before (Feb 15, 2016) to give him a license number so he could legally possess the Barbary sheep hide. The license number belonged to a third individual who drew the license on the same application as Daniel Gutierrez. When Officer Sanders talked to this third man he said he had not killed a Barbary sheep this year and was planning on going hunting the next weekend. He said he had not brought any Barbary sheep into any taxidermy shops this license year. He also said he had not given Daniel his license number, but Daniel did have access to his account and login information. Daniel later voluntarily surrendered the Barbary sheep head belonging to the Barbary sheep he killed in December. The 5 men with Gutierrez all plead No Contest to one count of Criminal Trespass each and paid court costs of $123. Daniel Gutierrez plead No Contest to using a License Issued to Another, Criminal Trespass, and Unlawful Possession of Big Game. He was fined a total of $500 dollars on these 3 counts and paid $229 in court costs. Daniel Gutierrez was required by the courts to forfeit his Custom Tikka 7mm Long Range rifle to the NM Dept. of Game and Fish. The Barbary sheep killed in December 2015 had a horn length measurement of 28 5/8 and the Barbary sheep killed in February 2016 had a horn length measurement of 27 0/8. These Barbary sheep are considered valuable trophies and are given a value of $4000 each by NM State regulations. The NM Dept. of Game and Fish is subsequently agreed to a voluntary payment of $4,000 in enhanced civil penalties based on the nature of the violations and the Safari Club International horn length measurements.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMUs 38 and 32 in Lincoln County
Additional Information:  –

2016

Patrick A. Stewart
46, Ringling, OK
Convictions: Current License Required (2), Use of Firearms by Minors, Unlawful Hunting, Unlawful Possession, Littering
Plea: No Contest, Lovington Magistrate Court, June 2, 2016
Penalties: $600 fines, $338 court costs, $938 total
Civil penalties: N/A

Case Summary: Patrick Stewart was caught hunting quail in the field with his three sons near Artesia NM. Upon investigation Officers found that two of Patrick Stewart’s juvenile sons did not have current New Mexico hunting licenses and one of the boys had not taken a required hunter safety course. The juvenile boys had killed approximately 30 quail illegally in New Mexico. Based on information received from an anonymous source Officers believed there was much more to the case. Corporal Josh Waldrip contacted the Oklahoma Department of Game and Fish and when an Oklahoma Game Warden inspected the home of Patrick Stewart it was found that he had 190 scaled quail which had all been killed in New Mexico. With two licensed hunters residing at the home, only 60 quail could be possessed. The Oklahoma officer seized 130 scaled quail from Stewart. Patrick Stewart was cited as an accessory for allowing his juvenile sons to hunt quail without a license and for illegal possession of 130 scaled quail. Patrick Stewart was also cited for littering as the party had left shotgun shell boxes and water bottles on NM roadways during their poaching trip.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 31, Lea County
Additional Information:  –

Dalton Strain
23, Jemez Springs, NM
Convictions: HUNTING WITHOUT A LICENSE, UNLAWFULLY KILLING OF DEER, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DEER
Plea: PLEA: GUILTY ALL CHARGES, CUBA MAGISTRATE COURT, DATE: 06/07/16
Penalties: $1179 and credit for 2 days served in jail.
Civil penalties: NONE

Case Summary: On December 7th 2015, New Mexico Game and Fish Officer Shawn Carrell received an Operation Game Thief report pertaining to a deer unlawfully killed by Dalton Strain. According to the NMDGF records Mr. Strain has never purchased a deer hunting license. On December 11th 2015, several NMDGF Officers executed two search warrants on the residence of Mr. Strain. While conducting the search warrants all remaining parts of the deer were found. Mr. Strain also admitted to hunting, killing and possessing the deer. On June 7th 2016, Sandoval County Judge Bill Mast found Mr. Strain guilty of all charges and ordered him to pay $1179 in fines and gave Mr. Strain credit for 2 days served in jail.
Operation Game Thief tip? Yes
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 6A SANDOVAL COUNTY
Additional Information:  –

Travis L. Torres 
31, Morenci, AZ
Convictions: Exceeding possession limit on trout
Plea: Defendant plead not guilty. On September 12, 2016 a bench trial was held in Grant County Magistrate Court and defendant was found guilty.
Penalties: $150.00 fine with $73 court cost.
Civil penalties: $125 owed for civil damages.

Case Summary: On March 1, 2016, Travis and his brother were contacted by Game and Fish Officer Adan Jacquez during angler patrol at Bill Evans Lake. During the Officer’s contact, he learned Travis and his brother were in possession of 43 trout. A thorough investigation was done and determined that Travis had exceeded his possession limit by 33 trout. His brother was also in possession of the trout but lacked the proper documentation to possess that many fish. 43 trout were seized from their possession. The group Travis was seen talking to was also interviewed and additional citations were issued for exceeding the daily bag limit on trout. Travis was summonsed to Grant County Magistrate for exceeding his possession limit on trout. He was later convicted in court for the violation and ordered to pay $150 in fines and $73 in court fees.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: Bill Evans Lake
Additional Information:  

DARRYL J VIGIL
28, JEMEZ PUEBLO, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL HUNTING OF DEER OUT OF SEASON, UNLAWFUL KILLING OF DEER OUT OF SEASON, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DEER OUT OF SEASON
Plea: PLEAD GUILTY, CUBA MAGISTRATE COURT, 2/9/16
Penalties: $779.00
Civil penalties: $4000.00

Case Summary: JEMEZ SPRINGS – Darryl Vigil and Clifford Vigil were found guilty of poaching a 5 x 5 mule deer buck with a 30-06 rifle while out cutting fuelwood on November 29, 2015 in the Santa Fe National Forest off Forest Road 10 in Paliza Canyon. Corporal Shawn Carrell investigated the reported violation and collaboration with Jemez Pueblo Officers which resulted in the voluntary confession and seizure of the 5 x 5 mule deer skull, packages of meat, remaining deer parts, and the photograph of the poached deer. The poachers have been ordered by Sandoval County Magistrate Judge Bill Mast to pay $1052 in criminal fines. The poachers agreed to voluntary pay the $4000 in civil damages to the state for the loss of this trophy animal. SCI score measured the mule deer buck at 160 5/8.
Operation Game Thief tip? Yes
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 6A SANDOVAL COUNTY
wv-cv-041316CLIFFORD C VIGIL
58, JEMEZ PUEBLO, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DEER OUT OF SEASON
Plea: PLEAD GUILTY, CUBA MAGISTRATE COURT, 2/9/16
Penalties: $273.00
Civil penalties: $-
Case Summary: JEMEZ SPRINGS – Darryl Vigil and Clifford Vigil were found guilty of poaching a 5 x 5 mule deer buck with a 30-06 rifle while out cutting fuelwood on November 29, 2015 in the Santa Fe National Forest off Forest Road 10 in Paliza Canyon. Corporal Shawn Carrell investigated the reported violation and collaboration with Jemez Pueblo Officers which resulted in the voluntary confession and seizure of the 5 x 5 mule deer skull, packages of meat, remaining deer parts, and the photograph of the poached deer. The poachers have been ordered by Sandoval County Magistrate Judge Bill Mast to pay $1052 in criminal fines. The poachers agreed to voluntary pay the $4000 in civil damages to the state for the loss of this trophy animal. SCI score measured the mule deer buck at 160 5/8.
Operation Game Thief tip? Yes
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 6A SANDOVAL COUNTY
Additional Information:  FATHER TO DARRYL VIGIL ASSISTED IN LOADING AND POSSESSION

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Steven A. Ortiz
56, Santa Cruz, NM
Convictions: Hunting without a license, shooting at game from a road
Plea: Defendant pled no contest to both charges in Catron County Magistrate Court on November 22, 2016
Penalties: $100.00 fine with $126.00 court costs
Civil penalties: N/A

Case Summary: On October 30, 2016, Corporal Adan Jacquez, while looking through a spotting scope, saw Steven Ortiz shoot at deer with a muzzle loader while standing on State Highway 159. Ortiz was contacted by Corporal Jacquez and asked to show his deer hunting license but instead presented a bear hunting license. Ortiz didn’t have a deer hunting license and insisted that he was not hunting deer despite having just shot at a deer. Ortiz was arrested for hunting deer without a license and shooting from a road and transported to Catron County Detention Center. Ortiz’s vehicle was released to his wife and the muzzle loader he used was seized. On November 22, 2016, Ortiz plead guilty to both charges and was fined $100 in the Catron County Magistrate Court. Ortiz also had to pay $126 in court costs.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: 16A
Additional Information:  

Lisa A Ulibarri
25, Fort Sumner, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL KILLING OF DEER IN CLOSED SEASON, HUNTING DEER WITH THE AID OF ARTIFICIAL LIGHT, AND HUNTING WITHOUT A VALID LICENSE.
Plea: PLED GUILTY, DE BACA COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT 01/28/2016
Penalties: $879.00
Civil penalties: $250.00 (Deer)

Case Summary: DE BACA COUNTY- Lisa A. Ulibarri was found guilty of unlawfully killing a spiked mule deer buck during a closed season, hunting with the aid of artificial light and hunting without a license on December 28, 2015 near Fort Sumner, NM. Officer Jerry Pohl received information from a concerned citizen regarding illegal hunting activity near Fort Sumner. Through investigation Officer Pohl made contact with Lisa Ulibarri. Lisa Ulibarri confessed to shooting at deer with a .22 rifle in a field near Fort Sumner. Lisa Ulibarri also confessed she used lights located on the top of her vehicle to cast rays of artificial light into the field where the deer where located. On 1/22/2016, an arrest warrant was executed on Lisa Ulibarri for unlawful killing of deer in closed season, hunting with the aid of artificial light and hunting deer without a license. Lisa Ulibarri was ordered by De Baca County Magistrate Judge Buddy Hall to pay $879.00 in criminal fines. Lisa Ulibarri also paid a $250 in civil fines for the spike mule deer that was unlawfully killed.
Operation Game Thief tip? Yes
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 32, De Baca County
Additional Information:  On 1/22/2016, an arrest warrant was executed on Lisa Ulibarri for unlawful killing of deer in closed season, hunting deer with the aid of artificial light, hunting without a valid license. Her accomplice Joel Ulibarri was also charged for his respective crime of hunting deer with the aid of artificial light.

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Alfred K Abeita
29, Isleta, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL KILLING OF DEER, WASTE OF GAME
Plea: PLEADED GUILTY, CARRIZOZO MAGISTRATE COURT 05/17/2016
Penalties: $626.00
Civil penalties: $-

Case Summary: LINCOLN COUNTY- Alfred Abeita was found guilty of unlawfully killing a mule deer fawn, and Waste of Game on January 14, 2014 in the Gallinas Mountains near Corona, NM. Officer Logan Vanlandingham received information from a concerned citizen regarding illegal hunting activity near Corona, NM. Through investigation Officer Vanlandingham made contact with Alfred Abeita, whose license was valid for a fork antlered deer. Abeita confessed to killing the mule deer fawn and leaving the meat to waste. Abeita also confessed to standing in the middle of the county maintained road while shooting at the fawn. On January 10, 2014 an arrest warrant was secured for Alfred Abeita. However, Abeita had left the area and could not be found. In December of 2015 the arrest warrant for Abeita was executed. After pleading not guilty to all charges he was released after posting bond. On 4/12/16 Abeita failed to appear for his court date and another warrant was issued for his arrest. On 4/19/2016 Abeita was again arrested for failure to appear. On 5/17/2016 Abeita accepted a plea agreement offered by the Twelfth Judicial District Attorney’s office that dismissed 3 of the 5 charges brought against him. As part of the the agreement Abeita did plea guilty to Unlawful Killing of Deer and Waste of Game. Alfred Abeita was ordered by Carrizozo Magistrate Judge Mickie Vega to pay $526 in criminal fines as well as a $100 bench warrant fee for failing to appear in court.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 38, Lincoln County
Additional Information:  On January 10th, 2014 an arrest warrant was obtained for Alfred Abeita for Unlawful killing of deer, Shooting from the road, Attempting to exceed the bag limit, Waste of game and Tampering with evidence.

2015

Rafael C Flores
59, Clovis, NM
Convictions: Rafael-Hunting in wrong unit (deer), Hunting without a valid license (turkey), Killing deer out of season, Killing turkey out of season. Edgar-Hunting in wrong unit (deer), Unlawful possession (deer), Unlawful possession (turkey). Antonio-Hunting in a closed season (deer), Unlawful possession (deer). Joel-Hunting in a closed season (deer), Unlawful possession (turkey), Hunting with license issued to another (deer). Juan-Hunting Deer during closed season

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Antonio, Edgar, Joel, Juan

Plea: Guilty plea on all convictions. Colfax County Magistrate court. Raton, NM. February 4, 2015
Penalties: Rafael-$1000 fines, $232 court costs, Voluntarily surrendered one Remington Model 700 rifle. Edgar-$2000 fines, $179 court costs, Voluntarily surrendered one .270 cal rifle. Antonio-$1200 fines, $126 court costs, Voluntarily surrendered one .270 cal rifle. Joel-$500 fines, $179 court costs, Voluntarily surrendered one .303 British cal rifle. Juan-$400 fines, $73 court costs. $900 donated to Operation Game Thief fund
Civil penalties: $400
Case Summary: Also convicted in this case: Edgar Flores, age 37, Hometown-Clovis, NM Docket: M-9-MR-2015-00012, 3 convictions this case, repeat offender, previously revoked Antonio J. Flores, age 24, Hometown-Clovis, NM Docket: M-9-MR-2015-00011, 2 convictions this case, repeat offender, no previous revocation Joel C. Flores, age 53, Hometown-Clovis, NM Docket: M-9-MR-2015-00008, 3 convictions this case, no repeat, no revocations Juan Rojo, age 28, Hometown-Dimmitt, TX Docket: M-9-MR-2015-00009, 1 conviction this case, no repeat, no revocations On Monday, November 10, 2014 at approximately 9:00am NM Game and Fish Sgt. Kyle Jackson received an Operation Game Thief (OGT) report of hunters camped in the Elliot S. Barker Wildlife Management Area (WMA) with a deer hanging in the camp and the hunters driving Off Highway Vehicles (OHV) all over the WMA. There was no open season for deer in the Barker WMA at that time. Sgt. Jackson responded to the camp in the Barker WMA which is located in Game Management Unit (GMU) 55A, Colfax County, NM. The mule deer hanging in camp had a hunting license valid for GMU 34 attached to the antlers issued to Rafael Flores. GMU 34 is located in southern New Mexico in Otero County. Sgt. Jackson searched the Barker WMA and found 3 individuals riding OHV’s and carrying rifles. Sgt. Jackson escorted them back to camp and interviewed them. NM Game and Fish Officers Henson and Teague arrived to assist with the investigation. A short time later the remaining individuals from the group returned to camp with a dead turkey. There was no open season for turkey in the Barker WMA at that time. All individuals in the camp were seen riding OHV’s in the field and each individual was carrying a rifle. Rafael Flores claimed responsibility for killing both the mule deer and the turkey. Edgar Flores also possessed a deer hunting license for GMU 34. Antonio Flores admitted to hunting deer without a current, valid license. Joel Flores presented a deer hunting license issued to his son for GMU 34. Juan Rojo did not possess a valid deer license. Three of the group were arrested and taken to the Colfax County Detention center. The deer and the turkey were seized and sold to an unrelated third party.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 55A, Colfax County
Additional Information:  –

Christopher D McIntire
27, Alamogordo, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF BOBCAT PELT & SKULL, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF AN 8 POINT MULE DEER SKULL, KILLING FOX OUT OF SEASON, HUNTING FOX WITHOUT A VALID LICENSE AND LARCENY
Plea: PLEADED NO CONTEST, OTERO COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT 04/28/2015
Penalties: $485.00
Civil penalties: $-

Case Summary: OTERO COUNTY- Christopher D. McIntire was found guilty of unlawful possession of a bobcat pelt with skull and an 8 point mule deer skull, killing fox out of season, hunting fox without a valid license and larceny on April 4, 2015 in Alamogordo, NM. Officer Marcelino Peralta received information from Otero County Sheriff’s Office, regarding fresh elk legs on a property where a welfare check was being conducted. During the investigation, Deputies and Officer Peralta discovered marijuana plants growing in 5 gallon buckets on the property. A search warrant was executed at Christopher McIntire’s residence. Numerous illegally possessed game parts including a 8 point mule deer skull, 4 point mule deer skull, forked mule deer antler, 3 point mule deer antler, spike mule deer antler, bull elk skull, turkey wing with feathers, fox parts and a bobcat pelt with skull were discovered in a shed outside of Christopher McIntire’s residence. Christopher McIntire did not possess any license, invoice or permit for the game parts. During the search warrant, Officer Peralta also discovered a game camera which McIntire had stolen from the Department of Game and Fish. The 12th Judicial District Attorney’s Office entered into a plea agreement with Christopher McIntire and he was ordered to pay $485.00 in criminal fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 34, Otero County
Additional Information: Christopher McIntire was charged with unlawful possession of Bobcat pelt with skull, fox tail, 8 point mule deer skull, 4 point mule deer skull, forked mule deer antler, 3 point mule deer antler, spike mule deer antler, bull elk skull, forked mule deer antler, turkey wing with feathers, killing fox out of season, hunting fox without a valid license, and larceny.

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Mark A Romero
36, Rio Rancho, NM
Convictions: SHOOTING DEER FROM MAINTAINED PUBLIC ROAD, HUNTING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION,UNLAWFUL KILLING OF DEER (OUT-OF-SEASON), WASTE OF GAME, EXCEEDING BAG LIMIT OF DEER
Plea: PLEADED GUILTY, RIO ARRIBA COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT 05/13/2015
Penalties: $1,215.00
Civil penalties: $-

Case Summary: RIO ARRIBA COUNTY- Mark Romero was found guilty of shooting at a deer from a maintained public road, hunting on private property without written permission, unlawfully killing a deer out-of-season, waste of game, and exceeding the bag limit of deer on November 3, 2014 near Lindrith, NM. Officer Jake Baulch received information from a concerned citizen regarding a mule deer buck being killed and left on private property near Lindrith. Through the investigation Officer Baulch served a search warrant on Mark Romero’s hunting camp on November 7, 2014. Mark Romero ultimately confessed to killing a 3×3 mule deer buck a day before his hunt legally started from a public maintained road on private property without first obtaining written permission. Further investigation revealed, on November 6, 2014 Mark Romero killed a 5×5 mule deer buck therefore exceeding the bag limit for deer. Mark Romero was ordered by the Rio Arriba County Magistrate Judge Alexandra Naranjo to pay $1,215.00 in criminal fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 5A, Rio Arriba County
Additional Information:  –

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Adam H Martinez
26, Cordova, NM
Convictions: 1. Unlawful possession of deer during closed season, 2. Unlawful possession of antelope during closed season, 3. Unlawful killing of deer during closed season, 4. Unlawful killing of antelope during closed season, 5. Hunting while license suspended/revoked
Plea: Guilty to 5 charges, Mora Magistrate Court, Mora, NM, March 4, 2015
Penalties: $0 Fine, $285 court costs, Forfeiture of .243 CVA rifle, Was held on $4,000 cash only bond at time of arrest
Civil penalties: $3,000 civil from previous case still owed, Civil penalty pending on this case

Case Summary: On July 16, 2014, a witness heard a rifle shot and immediately saw two men loading a mule deer into the bed of a silver truck. The witness was able to video the two males dragging the deer from the field and a third individual pull up in the silver truck. The witness called New Mexico State Police and gave a description of the vehicle and direction of travel. Within thirty minutes, a New Mexico State Police Officer pulled over a vehicle, registered to Adam Martinez, in the area matching the description given by the witness. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Officer Travis Nygren arrived on scene and found a freshly killed mule deer and pronghorn antelope buck in the bed of Adam Martinez’s vehicle. A .243 caliber rifle and empty cartridge casings were secured from the cab of the vehicle. Adam and Peter Martinez were arrested for unlawful possession of mule deer and pronghorn antelope during closed season. The third individual in the vehicle was identified as Martinez’s girlfriend with her infant child. Martinez’s girlfriend was serving as the driver during the killing of the deer. The vehicle was impounded and a search warrant was served on the vehicle the following day. The pronghorn antelope and mule deer were seized along with the .243 caliber rifle. A .243 caliber bullet was found in both the pronghorn antelope and mule deer buck. Adam Martinez shot and killed the mule deer buck off of Highway 120 near mile marker 19 on private land. Adam and Peter Martinez loaded the deer into a silver Ford F-250 registered to Adam Martinez. Adam Martinez then shot and killed the pronghorn antelope buck between mile marker 19 on Highway 120 and mile marker 3 on Highway 442 near Ocate, NM. The pronghorn antelope was loaded into the same vehicle. There were no open hunting seasons for mule deer or pronghorn antelope at the time. Martinez’s girlfriend helped in carrying out the crimes by driving the vehicle as Adam and Peter Martinez retrieved the deer and pronghorn. Adam Martinez’s hunting privileges were revoked indefinitely on May 6, 2014, for failure to pay $3,000 in trophy civil penalties owed to NMDGF in a previous case involving the illegal killing of an elk near the Valle Vidal.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 46, Mora County
Additional Information:  –
Peter Martinez
46, Chimayo, NM
Convictions: 1. Unlawful possession of antelope during closed season
Plea: Guilty to 1 charge, Mora Magistrate Court, Mora, NM, February 5, 2015
Penalties: $300 Fine, $100 donation to OGT, $73 court costs, Held on $4,000 cash only bond at time of arrest
Civil penalties: Pending
Case Summary: On July 16, 2014, a witness heard a rifle shot and immediately saw two men loading a mule deer into the bed of a silver truck. The witness was able to video the two males dragging the deer from the field and a third individual pull up in the silver truck. The witness called New Mexico State Police and gave a description of the vehicle and direction of travel. Within thirty minutes, a New Mexico State Police Officer pulled over a vehicle, registered to Adam Martinez, in the area matching the description given by the witness. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Officer Travis Nygren arrived on scene and found a freshly killed mule deer and pronghorn antelope buck in the bed of Adam Martinez’s vehicle. A .243 caliber rifle and empty cartridge casings were secured from the cab of the vehicle. Adam and Peter Martinez were arrested for unlawful possession of mule deer and pronghorn antelope during closed season. The third individual in the vehicle was identified as Martinez’s girlfriend with her infant child. Martinez’s girlfriend was serving as the driver during the killing of the deer. The vehicle was impounded and a search warrant was served on the vehicle the following day. The pronghorn antelope and mule deer were seized along with the .243 caliber rifle. A .243 caliber bullet was found in both the pronghorn antelope and mule deer buck. Adam Martinez shot and killed the mule deer buck off of Highway 120 near mile marker 19 on private land. Adam and Peter Martinez loaded the deer into a silver Ford F-250 registered to Adam Martinez. Adam Martinez then shot and killed the pronghorn antelope buck between mile marker 19 on Highway 120 and mile marker 3 on Highway 442 near Ocate, NM. The pronghorn antelope was loaded into the same vehicle. There were no open hunting seasons for mule deer or pronghorn antelope at the time. Martinez’s girlfriend helped in carrying out the crimes by driving the vehicle as Adam and Peter Martinez retrieved the deer and pronghorn.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 46, Mora County
Additional Information:  On 1/13/2014, an arrest warrant was executed on Troy Chandler for accessory to killing deer out of season, unlawful possession of deer and tampering with evidence.

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2014

Therese M Peyton 
52, Cloudcroft, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL KILLING OF DEER OUT OF SEASON, HUNTING ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION, AND TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE
Plea: PLEADED GUILTY, OTERO COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT 06/17/2014
Penalties: $479.00
Civil penalties: $-

Case Summary:OTERO COUNTY- Therese M. Peyton was found guilty of unlawfully killing a 10 point mule deer buck out of season, hunting on private property without permission and tampering with evidence on December 31, 2013 near Cloudcroft, NM. Officer Marcelino Peralta received information from a concerned citizen regarding illegal hunting activity near Cloudcroft. Through investigation Officer Peralta made contact with Therese Peyton, a licensed hunter authorized to hunt and kill a fork-antlered deer beginning on January 1, 2014. Therese Peyton confessed to killing the 10 point mule deer a day before her hunt was scheduled to begin. Therese Peyton also confessed that she killed the 10 point mule deer buck on a neighboring property without obtaining permission and hid the deer in an attempt to avoid apprehension for the crimes. On 1/13/2014, an arrest warrant was executed on Therese Peyton for killing deer out of season, unlawful possession of deer, hunting on private property without permission and tampering with evidence. Therese Peyton was ordered by Otero County Magistrate Judge Gene C. Galassini to pay $479.00 in criminal fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 34, Otero County
Additional Information:  On 1/13/2014, an arrest warrant was executed on Therese Peyton for unlawful killing deer out of season, unlawful possession of deer, hunting on private property without permission, hunting without a valid license and tampering with evidence. Her accomplices Troy Chandler and Leo Trejo were also charged/arrested for their respective crimes.
Troy R Chandler 
24, Mayhill, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL KILLING OF DEER OUT OF SEASON (ACCESSORY), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DEER AND TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE
Plea: PLEADED GUILTY, OTERO COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT 04/07/2014
Penalties: $179.00
Civil penalties: $-
Case Summary: OTERO COUNTY- Troy R. Chandler was found guilty of accessory to unlawfully killing a 10 point mule deer buck out of season, unlawful possession of deer and tampering with evidence on December 31, 2013 near Cloudcroft, NM. Officer Marcelino Peralta received information from a concerned citizen regarding illegal hunting activity near Cloudcroft. Through investigation Officer Peralta made contact with Therese Peyton, a licensed hunter authorized to hunt and kill a fork-antlered deer beginning on January 1, 2014. Therese Peyton confessed in killing the 10 point mule deer a day before her hunt was scheduled to begin. Therese Peyton also confessed that she killed the 10 point mule deer buck on a neighboring property without obtaining permission. Troy Chandler admitted to helping Therese Peyton in killing the deer and also helped her transport and conceal the deer carcass in an attempt to avoid apprehension for the crimes. On 1/13/2014, an arrest warrant was executed on Troy Chandler for accessory to killing deer out of season, unlawful possession of deer and tampering with evidence. Troy Chandler was ordered by Otero County Magistrate Judge Gene C. Galassini to pay $179.00 in criminal fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 34, Otero County
Additional Information:  On 1/13/2014, an arrest warrant was executed on Troy Chandler for accessory to killing deer out of season, unlawful possession of deer and tampering with evidence.
Basilio “Leo” Trejo
26, Mayhill, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL KILLING OF DEER OUT OF SEASON (ACCESSORY), UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF DEER
Plea: PLEADED GUILTY, OTERO COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT 04/03/2014
Penalties: $526.00
Civil penalties: $-
Case Summary: OTERO COUNTY- Basilio “Leo” Trejo was found guilty of accessory to unlawfully killing a 10 point mule deer buck out of season and unlawful possession of deer on December 31, 2013 near Cloudcroft, NM. Officer Marcelino Peralta received information from a concerned citizen regarding illegal hunting activity near Cloudcroft. Through investigation Officer Peralta made contact with Therese Peyton, a licensed hunter authorized to hunt and kill a fork-antlered deer beginning on January 1, 2014. Therese Peyton confessed in killing the 10 point mule deer a day before her hunt was scheduled to begin. Therese Peyton also confessed that she killed the 10 point mule deer buck on a neighboring property without obtaining permission. Basilio “Leo” Trejo admitted to helping Therese Peyton in killing the deer and also helped her transport and hide the deer carcass in an attempt to avoid apprehension for the crimes. Basilio “Leo” Trejo appeared in front of the Magistrate before an arrest warrant for accessory to killing deer out of season, unlawful possession of deer and tampering with evidence could be served. Basilio “Leo” Trejo was ordered by Otero County Magistrate Judge James Scott Newton to pay $526.00 in criminal fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 34, Otero County
Additional Information:  Basilio was an accomplice to Terese Peyton’s crimes

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Jon A Schoemann
54, Capitan, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL KILLING OF A DEER, HUNTING DEER WITHOUT A LICENSE, HUNTING OVER BAIT
Plea: PLEADED NO CONTEST, LINCOLN COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT
Penalties: $179.00
Civil penalties: $-

Case Summary: LINCOLN COUNTY- Jon A. Schoemann was found guilty of unlawfully killing a mule deer doe, hunting deer without a license, and hunting over bait on January 8, 2014 in Capitan, NM. Officer Mark Holguin received a report from Lincoln County Sheriffs Office, regarding a deer that had been shot in Capitan, NM. Officer Holguin arrived at the location to find a dead mule deer doe which was shot. Officer Holguin followed a blood trail from the carcass to an area where the blood trail disappeared between two residences. When Officer Holguin made contact with Mr. Schoemann he admitted to killing the doe with his bow and arrow. A piece of a bloody arrow and broad-head found near the carcass matched arrows and broad-heads which Mr. Schoemann had in his possession. Jon Schoemann was ordered by Lincoln County Magistrate Judge Martha M. Proctor to pay $179.00 in criminal fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 36, Lincoln County
Additional Information:  On 01/23/14, charges were filed in Lincoln County Magistrate Court on Jon Schoemann for unlawful killing of a deer, hunting without a license, and hunting over bait

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Manuel Jauregui 
55, Sapello, NM
Convictions: Unlawful killing of 5×5 bull elk, unlawful possession of 5×5 bull elk, exceeding bag limit, hunting on private property without permission.
Plea: Pleaded guilty, San Miguel Magistrate Court 12/16/2014
Penalties: $1,232.00
Civil penalties: $-

Case Summary: SAN MIGUEL COUNTY – On September 7th 2014 Officer Corey Smith received an Operation Game Thief (OGT) report that Manual Jauregui and another man had been elk hunting with a rifle during bow season on the Pritzlaff Ranch and had killed a bull elk the day before. This had reportedly occurred in the San Ignacio area north of Las Vegas, NM. Officer Smith drove to the Pritzlaff Ranch where he contacted the manager. During his investigation at the ranch Officer Smith noticed blood in the bed of a truck at the ranch house. He was told the blood belonged to a goat which had been butchered. Officer Smith also noticed a bloody knife and a series of blood drops on the floor of the shop which led to a back room. In the back room Officer Smith found a partially butchered 5×5 bull elk and the left half of another elk. There was no head or proof of sex with the second animal. There were also bullet holes in both carcasses. During the investigation Manuel Jauregui confessed he had killed two elk with a rifle on a neighboring private ranch without written permission. Manuel Jauregui was only licensed to hunt for 1 elk on the Pritzlaff Ranch with a bow and arrow. Manuel Jauregui was found guilty at trial of unlawfully killing a 5×5 bull elk, unlawful possession of a 5×5 bull elk, exceeding the bag limit on elk and hunting on private property without written permission. Manuel Jauregui was ordered by San Miguel County Magistrate Judge Philip J. Romero to pay a total of $1,232.00 in court cost and fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? Yes
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 46, San Miguel County
Additional Information:  Manuel Jauregui was charged with numerous violations that occurred on 9/06/2014 in San Miguel County, NM for unlawful killing of 5×5 bull elk, unlawful killing of spike bull, unlawful possession of 5×5 bull elk, unlawful possession of spike bull elk, waste of game, tampering with evidence, exceeding bag limit, hunting on private property without written permission. On 12/16/2014, Manuel Jauregui was found guilty on unlawful killing of 5×5 bull elk, unlawful possession of 5×5 bull elk, exceeding bag limit of elk, hunting on private without written permission.

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2013

Clay R. McClure
30, Jacksboro, TX
Convictions: 2013 Count 1: Fraudulent statements on hunting/ fishing license applications Count 2: Fraudulent statements on hunting/ fishing license applications Count 3: Fraudulent statements on hunting/ fishing license applications Count 4: Fraudulent statements on hunting/ fishing license applications 2014 Count 1: Hunting big game without a valid license Count 2: Illegal take of big game Count 3: Unlawful possession of big game Count 4: Guiding without registration
Plea: Guilty in Santa Fe Magistrate Court on 12/13/13 Guilty in Chaves County Magistrate Court on 5/5/14
Penalties: Between Santa Fe and Chaves County Magistrate Courts, McClure paid $1264 in fines and court costs.
Civil penalties: N/A

Case Summary: Clay McClure was investigated as part of a residency fraud project. McClure was buying resident hunting licenses in both New Mexico and Texas. McClure had illegally applied for or purchased at least 25 New Mexico resident hunting licenses and killed several trophy big game animals in New Mexico. Investigators were able to prove that McClure was not a New Mexico resident and purchased numerous big game hunting licenses illegally. A mule deer buck, bull elk and Barbary sheep were seized from McClure as a result of the investigation. McClure was charged with 25 counts of fraudulently purchasing resident licenses and was convicted on 4 of these in a plea agreement. McClure was caught again several months later and charged with an additional four (4) wildlife crimes, including hunting deer without a valid license, killing a mule deer buck with a resident license procured unlawfully, unlawful possession of deer during season and illegally procuring a resident guide license as a non-resident. McClure was subsequently convicted of all 4 of these charges. In total McClure defrauded the state of approximately $4,003 in license fees by fraudulently applying for and purchasing resident licenses instead of the non-resident licenses he was eligible for.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: Santa Fe, Colfax, Chaves Counties and GMU’s 57 and 32
Additional Information:  –

Phillip N Little
27, Jal, NM
Convictions: Count 1: Illegal Possession of head/antlers, Count 2: Illegal Possession of head/antlers, Count 3: Using license issued to another, Count 4: Hunting deer without a license, Count 5: Tampering with evidence, Count 6: Failure to tag antelope, and Count 7: Unlawful killing of deer.
Plea: Plead Guilty in Hobbs Magistrate Court in Lea County NM on April 24, 2013.
Penalties: $2400.00 in fines and $391.00 in court cost.
Civil penalties: $6000 in civil penalties.

Case Summary: On February 20, 2013 at approximately 12:00 pm, Officer Gregory Perez received an anonymous tip in which the caller stated they knew Mr. Little had illegally killed a trophy mule deer buck in GMU 31 near Jal, NM on January 14, 2013 using his grandfather’s private land only deer license. The caller stated they thought Little drew a bow tag for GMU 2B in September of the 2012/2013 license year. Mr. Little had not killed a deer during his September GMU 2B hunt.
Officer Perez began investigating and was able to obtain a search warrant on Mr. Little’s house. As a result of the search warrant Officer Perez seized the buck which had been illegally killed with the grandfather’s license, another large mule deer head which Little admitted to illegally picking up in the field, an antelope skull which was not tagged and several licenses which were evidence in the case. Mr. Little admitted to the wrong doing and plead guilty to all 7 charges. Mr. Little had to pay $2400.00 in fines, $391.00 in court cost and $6,000 in civil damages on the deer he killed with his grandfathers license which scored 186 3/8”. Mr. Little was revoked of his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for 5 years as the result of this case.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 31 Lea County
Additional Information:  –

Joey Montoya
28, Espanola, NM
Convictions: Unlawful Killing- Bull Elk, Unlawful Possession of Animal Parts- Elk , Waste of Game, No OHV registration, Driving OHV off road, Evading Arrest
Plea: Pleaded Guilty, Rio Arriba Magistrate Court, 11/12/2013
Penalties: $1,650, Court Costs- $346
Civil penalties: $4,000. Amount owed- $1,800

Case Summary: On 9/16/2012 a report of violation was called into New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) Dispatch regarding shots fired in the Abiquiu area. NM Game and Fish Officer Megan Otero responded where a 6×6 bull elk had been killed, the two suspects took the head and two small bags of meat from the carcass, wasting the rest. While driving their OHV back to their vehicle the suspects saw law enforcement and fled the scene, abandoning the OHV in a ravine and running on foot. Later that day one of the suspects, Joey Montoya, turned himself in at the State Police Office in Espanola, NM. On 10/2/2012 Mr. Montoya confessed to Officer Otero that he shot the elk. He said the elk was still alive after the initial shots, and he tracked it back very close to where he had parked his OHV. He said he then shot the elk two more times, killing it. Mr. Montoya took the back straps, boned out one hind leg, and cut off the head leaving the rest of the carcass to rot. As he approached his vehicle he did not stop at his jeep, instead driving past the jeep so both men could hide their rifles under a tree when they saw a Game Warden’s vehicle. Montoya said he “took off down the field” and when they got to the arroyo they abandoned the OHV and took off running. When they reached the top of the hill, he looked and saw Officer Otero in the field. He then ran through a canyon and hiked out to a highway where he hitchhiked back to Espanola. His mother drove him to the state police office in Espanola, so that he could turn himself in. Mr. Montoya refused to divulge the name of other suspect. Mr. Montoya pled guilty to all 6 charges and was ordered by Magistrate Judge Alex Naranjo to pay $1,650 in fines and $346 in court costs. In February 2014 Mr. Montoya agreed to pay $4,000 in trophy civil damages for the elk, which scored 304 3/8″. Mr. Montoya’s hunting, fishing and trapping privileges were revoked for six years as the result of this case. At this time Mr. Montoya still owes the NM Dept. of Game and Fish $1,800 in civil restitution.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 51, Rio Arriba County
Additional Information:  –

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wv-rvw-050616Richard L Van Weezel
47, Burleson, TX
Convictions: UNLAWFUL KILLING OF ELK WITHOUT A LICENSE
Plea: PLEADED NO CONTEST, OTERO COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT 11/9/2013
Penalties: $573.00
Civil penalties: $-

Case Summary: OTERO COUNTY- Richard Van Weezel was found guilty of killing a 6×6 bull elk without possessing a valid hunting license. On October 2, 2012, Officer Marcelino Peralta received information of unlawful hunting activity near Weed, NM. Officer Peralta made contact with Richard Van Weezel, who was in possession of a 6×6 bull elk. Through investigation, Officer Peralta identified that Richard Van Weezel had unlawfully killed and possessed the 6×6 bull elk without a license. Richard Van Weezel was ordered by Otero County Magistrate Judge James Scott Newton to pay $573.00 in criminal fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? No
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 34, Otero County
Additional Information:  –

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Daniel Gomez
Santa Clara, NM
Convictions: Unlawful possession of a deer in an open season
Plea: Plead not guilty but was convicted in a jury trial in Silver City Magistrate Court on 7/9/2013.He appealed the decision in District Court. District Judge Robinson accepted his No Contest plea.
Penalties: $473.00
Civil penalties: $6,000

Case Summary: On January 9, 2013, an Operation Game Thief call came in on Daniel Gomez who had reportedly killed a 5×7 mule deer buck illegally in the wrong Game Management Unit (GMU). A picture of the buck on Daniel’s Facebook page claimed the deer was killed in GMU 16 where Gomez had a valid deer license. Several local residents knew that this buck lived in the Bayard area in GMU 23. A search warrant was served on the Gomez residence. Conservation officers seized the deer from Gomez and submitted DNA samples to the forensics laboratory. DNA samples taken from the suspected kill site matched the samples taken from the seized deer. The trophy class mule deer officially scored 184 2/8″. Gomez was charged with one count of unlawful killing of a deer in the wrong unit and one count of unlawful possession of deer during open season. Daniel Gomez was convicted in a jury trial on one count of unlawful possession of a deer, in Silver City Magistrate Court. He was fined $400 plus $73 in court cost and ordered to serve twenty four hours of community service. Gomez was later sued by the Department of Game and Fish and ordered to pay $6,000 to the Department for the trophy civil value of the deer as restitution for the loss of the state’s wildlife.
Operation Game Thief tip? Yes
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 23, Grant County
Additional Information:  Daniel Gomez was arrested for the unlawful killing and unlawful possession of a mule deer during the search warrant. The unlawful killing charge was dismissed by the judge during the trial.

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2012

wv-af-050616Alfredo D Florez 
34, Albuquerque, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL KILLING OF DEER OUT OF SEASON
Plea: PLEADED NO CONTEST, OTERO COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT 12/14/2012
Penalties: $473.00
Civil penalties: $-

Case Summary: OTERO COUNTY- Alfredo D. Florez was found guilty of unlawfully killing a 6 point mule deer buck out of season on October 26, 2012 near Mayhill, NM. Officer Marcelino Peralta received a report from Operation Game Thief, of several gun shots in a residential area where deer are often observed. Officer Peralta made contact with Alfredo Florez, a licensed hunter authorized to hunt and kill a fork-antlered deer beginning on October 27, 2012. Alfredo Florez confessed to killing the 6 point mule deer a day before his hunt was scheduled to begin. Alfredo Florez also confessed to covering the deer carcass with tree branches and shrubs, in an attempt to hide the deer to prevent apprehension for the crimes committed. On 10/27/2012, an arrest warrant was executed on Alfredo Florez for unlawful killing of deer out of season, unlawful possession of deer and tampering with evidence. Alfredo Florez was ordered by Otero County Magistrate Judge Gene C. Galassini to pay $473.00 in criminal fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? Yes
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 34, Otero County
Additional Information:  On 10/27/2012, an arrest warrant was executed on Alfredo Florez for unlawful killing of deer out of season, unlawful possession and tampering with evidence.

wv-ds-050616David M Shipman 
33, Albuquerque, NM
Convictions: UNLAWFUL KILLING OF DEER OUT OF SEASON
Plea: PLEADED NO CONTEST, OTERO COUNTY MAGISTRATE COURT 10/29/2012
Penalties: $373.00
Civil penalties: $-

Case Summary: OTERO COUNTY- David M. Shipman was found guilty of unlawfully killing a 9 point mule deer buck out of season on October 26, 2012 near Mayhill, NM. Officer Marcelino Peralta received a report from Operation Game Thief, of several gun shots in a residential area where deer are often observed. Officer Peralta made contact with David Shipman, a licensed hunter authorized to hunt and kill a fork-antlered deer beginning on October 27, 2012. David Shipman confessed to killing the 9 point mule deer a day before his hunt was scheduled to begin. On 10/27/2012, an arrest warrant was executed on David Shipman for unlawful killing deer out of season. David Shipman was ordered by Otero County Magistrate Judge Gene C. Galassini to pay $373.00 in criminal fines.
Operation Game Thief tip? Yes
GMUs’and counties where crimes were committed: GMU 34, Otero County
Additional Information:  On 10/27/2012, an arrest warrant was executed on David Shipman for unlawful killing deer out of season.