This photo provided by Courtesy Department of Game and Fish, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officer Ty Jackson, pictured with a bear he darted, radio collared and released, manages poaching reports in the northeast part of New Mexico. Tracking down scofflaw hunters who bag game illegally requires some old-fashioned detective work by game wardens, helped by modern, high-tech tools. Usually game wardens have to handle the entire investigation by themselves, from gathering and analyzing evidence to serving the arrest warrant and testifying in court. (AP Photo/Courtesy Department of Game and Fish via The Santa Fe New Mexican)
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Eighth Judicial District Judge John Paternoster was looking forward to his Thanksgiving meal when the call came in from a New Mexico game warden. Could he sign a warrant to search a property near Las Vegas for poached deer, spotlights and any other evidence linked to illegally killed game?
“He just asked that we get it to him before he sat down for his dinner,” said Sgt. Ty Jackson, a game warden with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
A few hours later, game wardens with a signed warrant in hand were seizing two trophy mule deer heads and other items from the garage of Esequiel A. Mascarenas.
The seizure came after an anonymous tip and a late-night stakeout by Jackson’s brother, also a game warden, plus help from other colleagues willing to interrupt their holiday to help nab poachers. They were lucky on this bust, catching the three men in the act of unloading poached game. Often, all the officers have to work with are headless carcasses, bullet casings and tire tracks.
“We’re investigating crimes where the victim doesn’t talk and the Login to read more