Once again, social media leads to the downfall of some poachers.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission have just announced a slew of felony and misdemeanor charges against two men who they say poached two big bucks off a Florida deer farm.
The investigation into the case actually began last November when Shadd Farms in Lake Butler reported gunshots in their deer pen. The owner later found a 15-point buck dead. The case was broken wide open when an anonymous tipster gave investigators a lead to look at the social media accounts of two men.
It turns out they had broken into the deer farm more than once.
A search warrant of 25-year-old Aaron Griffis’ social media accounts later revealed a video shared privately that shows Griffis shining and shooting a deer at night. It is believed to be the 15-point buck the farm’s owner later found dead based on comments on the video.
It was also found 23-year-old Taylor Wise had posted several photos of an 11 point buck poached in the same farm. Wise later admitted to investigators he shot the buck from a vehicle with his son and Griffis.
The two alleged poachers then dropped off Wise’s son before returning to take the deer after cutting a fence. Wise was hit with five felonies including grand theft livestock and child neglect without harm. He also got two misdemeanors, one for taking deer at night and one for shooting a firearm from a road.
Griffis was hit with four felonies including trespass while armed, conspiracy to commit grand theft and grand theft livestock. He also got two misdemeanor counts for taking a deer at night and two others for trespass and felony firearm possession.
“Mr. Shadd appreciated the work that was done and has given a reward to the person who supplied the anonymous tip about the suspects,” FWC Lt. Clay Huff said in an FWC press release.
The tipster also got a reward from the FWC in the case. Shadd Farms also thanked the FWC for their investigative work in a Facebook post. “Thank you MyFWC for your hard work on this case! Poachers will not be tolerated.”
These latest arrests are just two more in a string of poaching incidents across the country that have been solved thanks to social media postings. Poachers who took deer, elk, even a cougar have been caught after sharing the photos of the illegal kills on social media platforms.