New Mexico DGF Gets Conviction in Elk Poaching Case

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Four men convicted of a variety of elk poaching charges recently were fined $15,000 and assessed $644 court costs in Colfax County Magistrate Court in connection with the killing of four cow elk in December 2006.

Charges included exceeding the bag limit of elk, failure to tag elk, unlawful possession and unlawful killing of elk, hunting with a license issued to another, and hunting without a valid license. Department of Game and Fish officers Ty Jackson and Jason Kline found the hunting party with three dead cow elk in their possession when they checked the hunters' camp, then later discovered a fourth cow elk in Taos that had been tagged illegally.

Herman Olguin, 54, of Taos, was convicted by a jury of two counts of unlawful possession of elk, exceeding the bag limit of elk, and accessory to unlawful killing of elk. He was sentenced to six months in the Colfax County Detention Center and fined $4,208. It was Herman Olguin's fifth conviction of wildlife law violations. New Mexico law allows for higher penalties for continued wildlife-law violations.

Johnny Olguin, 30, of Albuquerque and nephew to Herman Olguin, was convicted of two counts of unlawful possession of elk. He was sentenced to 182 days unsupervised probation and fined $1,114.

Travis Holland, 29, of Clayton, was convicted of two counts of unlawful possession of elk, and hunting elk without a valid license. He was sentenced to 364 days unsupervised probation and fined $5,108. It was Holland's second Game and Fish conviction.

Bill Burch, 69, of Angel Fire, was convicted of unlawful possession of elk and hunting with a license issued to another. Burch was sentenced to 182 days unsupervised probation and fined $1,214.

Charges against two other suspects were dropped.

If you have information about a wildlife crime, please call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-432-4263. Don't let anyone steal your wildlife.