New Mexico DGF Gets Conviction for Two Antelope Poachers

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Calling the offenses "a serial act of terrorism against the people of Colfax and Union counties" a judge sentenced two Texas men who went on a 2006 antelope-killing spree to 90 days in jail and ordered each to pay $10,750 in criminal and civil penalties.

Colfax County District Judge John P. Paternoster sentenced Fort Worth residents Kolby Knight, 21, and Jonathon Seamen, 22, on Aug. 29 after plea agreements. Both men's rifles were surrendered to the Department of Game and Fish and the judge ordered the men to write apology letters to the citizens of Colfax and Union counties to be published in local newspapers.

Department of Game and Game and Fish officers received an anonymous call Nov. 6, 2006, that Knight and Seamen were returning to Fort Worth from a hunting trip in Idaho and that they planed to kill pronghorn antelope as they traveled from Raton to Clayton.

An undercover officer quickly found the silver Cadillac Escalade described by the informant. The officer watched and heard rifle shots as the vehicle stopped near groups of antelope along the highway. Department officers stopped the vehicle in Clayton and found Knight and Seamen in possession of a deer head that was illegally killed in Idaho . Officers later found five antelope that had been killed by the pair and also found where Knight and Seamen had tried to hide two antelope heads they were planning to take to Texas. Officers also matched ballistic evidence found along the 90-mile crime scene with the rifles carried by Knight and Seamen.

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Paternoster said he was amazed that no one was killed by the bullets shot along the highway that day and that he will always remember the two poachers as he drives the highway from Raton to Clayton and sees all the beautiful antelope.

If you have any information about wildlife crimes, please call your local conservation officer or Operation Game Thief at 1-800-432-GAME (4263). Callers can remain anonymous and can receive rewards for information leading to the arrest or charges filed upon wildlife criminals.