Men Sentenced for Poaching Pregnant Doe

Date: 10/4/12
Contact: Edwin Lyngar
Phone: (775) 688-1548

Two Holbrook Junction-area brothers were sentenced yesterday in District Court in Minden for poaching a pregnant mule deer doe less than a mile East of Holbrook Junction in March.

Gonzalo P. Cossio pled guilty to a Class E Felony and was sentenced to 30 months in jail, suspended, 3 years probation, a $1,000 fine and a $3,000 civil penalty. As a condition of probation, Cossio will spend 90 days in jail. His brother, Jesus Cossio-Pitones, pled guilty to a gross misdemeanor and was sentenced to 6 months in jail, suspended, three years of probation and a $1,000 civil penalty. As a condition of his probation, Cossio-Pitones cannot posses any firearms, hunt or purchase any hunting license or tag, and must forfeit the weapon used to kill the deer.

“This is a classic poaching of opportunity”, said Rob Buonamici, chief game warden at NDOW. “The real tragedy is that the doe was pregnant with twins, and now three animals have been taken from sportsmen and citizens of this state.”

Cossio saw the deer close to his home and decided to shoot it. After shooting the deer, he called Cossio-Pitones who then assisted with the harvesting, gutting and cleaning of the animal. A concerned citizen saw the men with the deer carcass and called Operation Game Thief (OGT) to report the incident. OGT is Nevada’s secret witness for wildlife and is essential for finding and stopping wildlife crimes, such as this one.

A Nevada state game warden immediately investigated the crime and found the two men as they made their way from home to dispose of the hide, head and innards of the deer. After discovering all the deer parts in the vehicle, the game warden arrested the two men, and they were transported to jail by Douglas County Sherriff’s Office. After the arrest, the game warden located the rest of the deer meat at Cossio’s residence following a search.

“Our game warden caught these guys literally red handed, but we can’t always be there when this kind of crime happens,” said Buonamici. “We still need the public’s help to catch and solve serious crimes, and we are very grateful to concerned citizens who report these crimes.”

To report wildlife crime, sportsmen and members of the public can call OGT at (800) 992-3030. To learn more about game wardens and wildlife in Nevada visit NDOW on the web at www.ndow.org.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license.