Three Nevada men are being charged as "serial wildlife killers" for their participation in a poaching ring responsible for the death of deer, antelope, birds and other animals killed illegally in the state. Adrian Acevedo-Hernandez, 36, J. Nemias Reyes Marin, 31 and Jose Luis Montufar-Canales, 31 have been slaughtering animals since 2013, and have been boasting about their kills on the Internet. The ring was discovered after one of the men posted a photo on Facebook of two deer he killed last June.
Reuters' Laura Zuckerman reports:
Search warrants executed at a residence occupied by one of the men uncovered large caches of deer meat, deer parts, butchering tools, weapons and ammunition. The evidence there led investigators to broaden their probe to unsolved poaching cases that stretched from Nevada's northern border with Idaho to its southeastern intersection with Arizona, he said.
[Lead investigator Cameron] Waithman said the men were engaged in an extreme version of what conservation officers call "thrill kills," indiscriminate killing of wildlife for excitement rather than for food.
"These are people who, for whatever reason, don't want to shoot at paper targets anymore and go out and kill stuff for fun," he said.
Nevada has a number of laws prohibiting poaching of certain protected species, in addition to hunting without proper licensing and in forbidden areas.
Zuckerman spoke with Edwin Lyngar, a spokesman for Nevada's state wildlife agency, who said they would never be able to account for all the animals that were harmed in the killing spree. "They just sort of shot at everything that moved," he said.