In early February, wildlife officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department arrested three men in East Texas as part of a three-year investigation into a poaching ring that allegedly shot over 100 deer illegally in four different states. It’s possible that more individuals could be arrested as the multi-state investigation moves forward.
Carson Don Bottoms, 21, Drake Anthony Cannon, 23, and Reagan Beavan Farquharson, 18, are the three Texas men who were arrested in February, according to KLTV News. A TPWD game warden explained to KLTV that the arrests followed years of investigation into what he called an “extreme” number of wildlife crimes. These included trespassing and shooting deer year-round from a vehicle at night. Officials believe the poaching ring was responsible for illegally shooting more than 100 deer in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Iowa.
TPWD game warden and public information officer Matt Hill tells Outdoor Life that officials are hesitant to release additional information about the ongoing investigation. He confirmed that TPWD has been working in conjunction with fish and game agencies in other states, and that these agencies could make additional arrests and bring more charges related to the poaching ring.
Since the alleged wildlife crimes took place in multiple states, it’s possible that the individuals involved violated the Lacey Act by bringing poached deer across state lines. Hill says that TPWD will let the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service handle any federal charges related to the poaching ring.
“We want to make sure all the charges are filed, and that everybody who needs to be arrested is arrested, before we put out full information about the case,” Hill says. “This is a big case, though. We feel confident that this will be something that other game wardens will look at and possibly study in order to prevent crimes like this from happening in the future.”
Articles may contain affiliate links which enable us to share in the revenue of any purchases made.