Two Tennessee men were banned for life after poaching over 40 deer and taking shameful photos with the animals.
Two men from La Vergne, Tennessee have been banned from hunting for life nationwide after the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency busted the men for poaching over 40 deer.
Desibel Calzada, 23, and Eddy Albert, 21, were put on a wildlife officer’s radar on December 26, 2015 after a landowner called to report the two men trespassing on their property. They were issued citations for hunting without permission.
Smyrna police officers detained the pair almost two days later for discharging firearms near the city’s airport. When pulled over, the men had a rifle, beer, and one deer in the back of their pickup truck.
TWRA used this evidence to obtain search warrants for both their homes and cell phones. The photos and videos found on their phones shocked the officers.
“They were getting on top of the deer and doing all sorts of things,” information officer Doug Markham told The Tennessean about the images he had seen. “They had one where the deer was still alive and they blew his head off. They were high-fiving each other after showing the hole where they had shot one at nighttime.”
Calzada and Albert were charged with hunting without permission, hunting out of season, killing deer at night, and illegal transportation of wildlife.
“We will never know how many deer these two killed, but we believe they could have poached at least 40,” said Sgt. Matt Brian in a press release. “We charged them with violations based on the strongest evidence we found showing the seriousness of their poaching crimes. Their actions were among the worst I have seen for their lack of respect to our landowners and to our wildlife.”
Both men pleaded guilty before judge Barry Tidwell. On top of their lifetime ban, they were ordered to each pay $1,000 in court costs, $5,000 in restitution fees, had all of their weapons confiscated, must perform 100 hours of community service, and will be on strict probation for the next 18 months.
If either are caught hunting again, they will face jail time.
All photos via Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.