MORIARTY (02/05/2014) – An Operation Game Thief call lands a San Felipe man with fines and community service after he killed an illegal spike deer and turkey in Game Management Unit 38 near Corona New Mexico.

On Nov. 7, 2013, Conservation Officer John Martsh received an anonymous Operation Game Thief report stating that while hunting in the Red Cloud area, James Valencia, born June 13, 1982, shot and killed a spike deer and turkey. The caller stated that Valencia loaded the deer carcass in his SUV in a hidden storage compartment underneath the rear carpeted flooring and hauled it to his home in San Felipe.

Conservation Officer John Martsh contacted Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement Division for assistance on San Felipe Pueblo. Valencia told Officer Martsh that when he shot the deer, he thought it had a fork.  But Valencia told Office Martsh that when he approached the deer, he knew it was illegal. Valencia loaded the deer in his vehicle anyway and then dumped it a short time later because he didn’t want to get caught.

Valencia also told Officer Martsh that he shot a turkey earlier that day, but didn’t retrieve it because he didn’t have a license.

Valencia was cited into Torrance County where he pleaded guilty on February 5, 2014, on charges of unlawful possession of deer, deer bag limit violation and killing a turkey during closed season. Valencia was ordered to pay $150.00 in fines, take a hunter education class and serve 24 hours of community service.

The Department is asking anyone with information on poaching to call Operation Game Thief toll-free, (800) 432-GAME (4263), or to visit  Callers can remain anonymous and earn rewards if the information leads to charges being filed.