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“Wildlife Serial Killers” Facing Federal Trial

Jonathan Turley

A group of poachers dubbed by law enforcement as “wildlife serial killers” are currently awaiting trial on federal charges.

Three men who have been convicted of state hunting violations are now facing federal charges resulting from a poaching ring that illegally killed numerous deer, antelope, birds, and other wildlife in Nevada.

Prosecutors maintain that Adrian Acevedo-Hernandez, Jose Luis Montufar-Canales, and J. Nemias Reyes Marin, have  been illegally hunting animals since early 2013. The men reside in Las Vegas but are suspected of entering the country illegally.

The group was discovered after a defendant posted a picture on Facebook of two deer he shot out of season.  Authorities obtained search warrants for one defendant’s property and discovered large amounts of deer remains, butchering tools, firearms, and ammunition. Cameron Waithman, who led the Nevada Wildlife Department investigation of the case, said the men participated in “thrill kills,” hunting the animals out of fun rather than for food.

The poachers were previously convicted this year of misdemeanor hunting violations. They were later indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas on felony firearms offenses and criminal charges under the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act. They are currently in federal custody awaiting trial.

In an interview, Edwin Lyngar, a spokesman for the state wildlife agency, said authorities will likely never be able to tally all the wildlife that was illegally killed by the poachers.

They just sort of shot at everything that moved.

More from Wide Open Spaces:

Poachers net $100 million in California

Night poachers become the hunted in Maine

Man charged with poaching two bull elk

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“Wildlife Serial Killers” Facing Federal Trial