SANTA FE, N.M. — A Los Alamos police commander is facing poaching charges stemming from an incident involving his 12-year-old son that occurred in Otero County in October.
Preston H. Ballew, 36, was cited by a New Mexico Game and Fish officer on Oct. 7 and was charged with two counts of unlawful hunting – one for being in possession of a bull elk and the other for being an accessory to the killing of an elk – and one count of driving an ATV off-road.
A not guilty plea was entered in Alamogordo magistrate court on Thursday by his attorney, Gary Mitchell, a high-profile lawyer from Ruidoso, who called the charges against Ballew “silly.”
“This was during a youth hunt. There was no intent to do anyone any harm, and no attempt to violate any laws. Because of Preston’s employment, because of what he does, now they’re trying to ruin his career,” he said.