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Sentence Handed Down in Bizarre Florida Key Deer Kidnapping Case

key deer
FWS

Florida residents sentenced in bizarre deer-napping case.

Jail time and community service were handed down to two Florida residents in a bizarre case of deer-napping that occurred this summer on Big Pine Key, Florida.

Pleading guilty were 18-year-old Erik Damas Acosta and 23-year-old Tumani A. Younge. The two men used bread to lure three endangered key deer and capture them. The story gets even weirder because the men tied the deer up before placing them in their vehicle.

A sheriff’s deputy pulled over Acosta and Younge for a traffic violation, and discovered the deer in the vehicle. One of the deer, an adult buck, suffered a fractured leg when the men loaded it and had to be put down later.

key deer
Fish and Wildlife Service

At the time of the arrest, Acosta said they captured the deer because he wanted to take photos with them.

The two originally faced up to five years in prison, but walked away with much less.

Acosta received a year in jail and two years of supervised release, as well as two years of community service.

Younge got off a little easier. He was sentenced to time he’s already served, but he’ll be subject to 180 days of home confinement and two years of supervised release, as well as 200 hours of community service.

There are only an estimated 949 key deer left. The species certainly hasn’t had an easy time this year with Hurricane Irma and the screwworm outbreak last year that killed 135 deer. Key deer are protected in Florida under the Endangered Species Act.

NEXT: WATCH HOW FLORIDA FIREFIGHTERS HELPED ONE THIRSTY KEY DEER QUENCH ITS THIRST

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Sentence Handed Down in Bizarre Florida Key Deer Kidnapping Case