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Three-time poacher gets jail time

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A La Jara man convicted of his third poaching offense was ordered to spend 364 days in jail and donate $1,500 to Operation Game Thief, according to a state Department of Game and Fish news release.

Diego Morales, 56, pleaded guilty and was convicted on May 30 of unlawful hunting or fishing and unlawful possession of game without a license after he admitted killing a deer on Oct. 12, 2012, the release said. He also faces $2,000 in civil penalties for the state’s loss of the deer.

Morales also pleaded guilty in 2010 to unlawful killing and possession of a deer and was fined $1,394 and sentenced to 364 days of unsupervised probation, the release said.

His second offense occurred in 2011 when he was found guilty of unlawful possession of elk meat and unlawful parts picked up in the field, and he was fined $1,626 and ordered to serve 728 days of unsupervised probation in that case, according to Game and Fish officials.

In another case, 25-year-old Jose Chavez of Mountainair pleaded guilty and was convicted June 26 of poaching a trophy mule deer during the 2013 bow season, state Game and Fish said.

He was ordered to donate $1,000 to Operation Game Thief, fined $179 in court fees and was sentenced to 364 days of unsupervised probation, according to a news release. Chavez also faces $6,000 in civil penalties for killing a trophy deer.


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