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Social Media Post Leads Feds to Bust Nevada Wildlife Poachers

Thanks to social media, a trio of Las Vegas men convicted of state hunting violations in Nevada now face federal charges related to a poaching ring that saw the illegal killings of dozens of deer, antelope, birds and other wildlife across the state, according to state game officials.

Authorities discovered the poaching ring after one of the defendants uploaded a photograph on social media of two deer he shot and killed out of season last June, the Nevada Wildlife Department said in a statement.

An investigation that followed found that the three men — Adrian Acevedo-Hernandez, 36; Jose Luis Montufar-Canales, 31; and J. Nemias Reyes Marin, 31 — had been illegally killing and butchering animals across Nevada since early 2013. The investigation also discovered that they used false information to fraudulently apply for resident hunting licenses and tags, the statement said.

All three men were convicted in a state court of misdemeanor hunting violations earlier this year. They were indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas in July on felony firearms offenses and criminal charges under the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act. State officials say the men are "possibly" in the U.S. illegally. It is a felony for an illegal alien to possess any firearm under both state and federal law. The three are awaiting trial.

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— Daniel Arkin