New Mexico Men Fined and Jailed for Trespass Hunting

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A Guadalupita man caught trespassing and hunting elk without a license was sentenced Monday, Feb. 26, to pay $2,114 in fines and spend 30 days in the Colfax County Detention Center.

Herman Vigil, 47, from Guadalupita, Larry Horton, 60, from Mora, and Alexander Romero, 55, also from Mora, were charged with trespass after they were caught on the UU Bar Ranch by Department of Game and Fish Officer Clint Henson on Oct. 14, 2006. Horton held the only elk license of the three men for Game Management Unit 48, but the party took apart a wire gate and drove past a "No Trespassing" sign to enter the private property. After the three men had been caught and escorted back onto the correct hunting unit, it was found that Romero had an outstanding arrest warrant. When the officer returned to arrest Romero, he found that Vigil had taken Horton's rifle and was in the field hunting.

All three men were found guilty of criminal trespass. Vigil also was found guilty of hunting elk with no license. During sentencing, Officer Henson's recommendation for the State was for maximum fines but to suspend all jail time. Colfax County Magistrate Warren Walton disagreed with the recommendation and sentenced Vigil to the maximum $2,114 in fines and 30 days in the Colfax County Jail. Fines assessed against the three men totaled $3,381. The Department of Game and Fish also may revoke the men's hunting privileges for 3 years.

If you have information regarding wildlife crimes, please contact your local conservation officer or call Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263. Callers can remain anonymous and will receive a reward if information received leads to charges against the suspect.