ALAMOGORDO – A California man was found guilty on March 20, 2014 of unlawful hunting or fishing, and hunting game or fish with a license unlawfully procured. The crime was reported to Game and Fish officers through the Operation Game Thief hotline.
The Operation Game Thief call was received in Feb. of 2014. The caller claimed that a California resident, later identified as Gary Murphy, 64 years of age, shot and killed an Oryx on White Sands Missile Range with a New Mexico Resident hunting license. Alamogordo District Officer, Marcelino Peralta, initiated an investigation into false or fraudulent statement relative to application, hunting with a license unlawfully procured, unlawful killing, and unlawful possession of Oryx.
When Officer Peralta questioned Murphy about the incident, he admitted to killing and possessing the Oryx. Officer Peralta filed criminal complaints in Santa Fe and Alamogordo Magistrate Courts where he was found guilty of unlawful hunting or fishing and hunting game or fish without a license in Alamogordo Magistrate Court where he paid $326.00 in court fines. Resident Oryx hunting licenses in New Mexico are $161.00 and Non-resident Oryx hunting licenses in New Mexico are $1,630.00.
The Department encourages anyone with information about violations of New Mexico’s wildlife laws to call Operation Game Thief toll-free, (800) 432-GAME (4263), or to visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us. Callers can remain anonymous and earn rewards if information leads to charges being filed.