mineola poachers

6 Texas Residents Arrested on Illegal Hunting Charges

It's always a mistake to assume no one's watching.

Following an investigation in Mineola, Texas, game wardens arrested a group of six people for allegedly hunting deer from public roads at night with a spotlight.

Jacob Thomas Blair, Dustin James Hartley, Kaleb Lee Brown, Aspen Lynn Umphries, Dalton Jeronimo Robles and Hilario Lynch Garcia—all Mineola residents—are facing a variety of different charges, which include hunting whitetail deer from a vehicle, hunting whitetail deer at night and hunting whitetail deer with the aid of an artificial light.

According to an arrest affidavit pulled by KLTV, game wardens had been investigating violations that occurred over a two-year period. And, upon questioning, each of the six suspects admitted to illegal hunting activity during that time.

The report indicates each suspect was guilty of going out with one or more of the others to spotlight and shoot deer from a vehicle.

It also not only reveals instances of one or more of the subjects drinking alcohol while driving, shooting deer on private property and shooting at a set of eyes, which turned out to be a cow. The affidavit also notes multiple cows and calves were shot that same year.

The investigation found some traction when Hartley admitted to illegally hunting with a spotlight with Blair and Garcia on a public road in the fall of 2017.

According to a second affidavit pulled by KLTV, Hartley claims they found a large pasture and spotlighted several deer, two of which he and Blair took shots at.

"I thought about it before I got out," he said. "Ain't got no deer meat or nothing."

Shortly after they saw spotlights coming and bolted without retrieving the deer. They also left their guns behind, which were subsequently seized as evidence.

While there are roughly 100 charges game wardens could file against the group, they've only chosen three or four for each suspect, according to the affidavits.