Elk Poaching Costs Laguna Man $2,000

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A Laguna man paid $2,000 in fines last week as a result of an elk-poaching incident that occurred in early November. Alfred J. Marquez, 30, plead guilty Jan. 8 before Judge Jackie Fisher of Cibola County Magistrate Court to illegal killing and illegal possession of an elk. He was fined $1,000 on each count and civil charges may be filed as well.

On Nov. 9, 2003, New Mexico Game and Fish officers Chris Chadwick and Darrell Cole were patrolling N.M 117 south of Grants. At about 1:15 a.m. they saw a Toyota 4-Runner stopped where the officers had noticed a herd of elk earlier that evening. The vehicle then sped up after passing the officers' truck. When the officers followed it to get a license plate number, they saw elk antlers in the rear of the Toyota and signaled it to stop.

The officers found the back half of an elk and the antlers inside the vehicle driven by Marquez. Marquez and a passenger initially said that a friend had given them the elk. After some questioning by the officers, the passenger said, "I'm such a terrible liar," adding that Marquez killed the elk about 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8 off N.M. 60 near Quemado. Marquez later admitted shooting the elk from the vehicle using the light of the full moon. There was no elk season at that time in the area. Officers later went to the location where the passenger said the elk was killed and found the front half of the elk as well as a pair of bloody gloves.

Marquez also had three outstanding warrants and a revoked driver's license. He was booked into Cibola County Corrections Center.