Two Los Lunas men convicted of poaching a deer were ordered to pay $699 in fines and $500 in civil penalties to reimburse the state for the loss of the deer.
Andrew Montoya, 41, was charged with three criminal counts of poaching after he shot and killed a deer while hunting near Ladrone Mountain with his father in November 2011. Andrew Montoya was not licensed to hunt deer at the time. A Department of Game and Fish investigation followed a report to the Operation Game Thief Hotline.
Andrew Montoya was convicted earlier this month of hunting without a license, unlawful killing and unlawful possession of a deer. He was ordered to pay $876 in fines and civil penalties and was sentenced to 360 days of probation. His father, Romolo Montoya, who was licensed to hunt deer at the time, was convicted of unlawful possession of a deer. He was ordered to pay $323 in fines and civil penalties.
“Operation Game Thief is one of our most important tools when it comes to wildlife crimes,” said Darrel Cole, the department’s Belen District conservation officer. “We can’t be in all places all of the time.”
The Department encourages anyone with information about violations of New Mexico’s wildlife laws to call Operation Game Thief toll-free, (800) 432-GAME (4263), or to visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us. Callers can remain anonymous and earn rewards if information leads to charges being filed.