Multiple Suspects Charged in Year-Long Bear Poaching in Investigation

Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) game wardens recently wrapped up a complicated year-long investigation into the poaching of a large male black bear in the spring of 2017, resulting in formal charges being filed in Dayton Justice Court March 28 by the Lyon County District Attorney’s Office. 

After being alerted to the possible unlawful killing of a large black bear in the Pine Nut Mountains near Dayton, NV in February of 2017, game wardens began what was to become a nearly year-long investigation into the matter. During the investigation wardens uncovered information which suggested that Daniel Rubio, Eliseo Rubio Sr. and Eliseo Rubio Jr. of Dayton, may have been involved with the unlawful shooting and killing of the black bear, as well as unlawfully killing and possessing a mule deer in addition to other wildlife crimes. 

Enough evidence was produced to charge the suspects with felony unlawful killing of a big game animal as well as gross misdemeanor unlawful possession of a big game animal. 

“This was a lengthy and complicated investigation in which patience, persistence, and confidentiality were crucial to the eventual success,” said Nevada Department of Wildlife Chief Game Warden Tyler Turnipseed. “Key evidence in this case minimized our reliance on additional information from the public or offering rewards while investigating this case.”  

Based on the unique circumstances of all poaching cases, game wardens investigate each case differently. In some investigations, NDOW solicits information from the public and even offers reward money for tips that lead to solving the case. In this investigation, the suspects were identified from the beginning. NDOW law enforcement believes their relatively quiet persistence in this case worked to their advantage.  

“Not having media exposure during the investigation helped protect key pieces of evidence,” said NDOW Game Warden Jake Kreamer. “Keeping things confidential allowed us the time to conduct a very thorough investigation and put together what we believe is a solid case.” 

“We want to make it very clear that these individuals are not hunters. They did not have big game tags, did not purchase hunting licenses, and are not hunters. People like this are definitely not sportsmen," said Turnipseed. 

Poaching is a global issue, and the impacts of a case like this go beyond Nevada. NDOW is extremely grateful Nevada wardens were able to bring these poachers to justice and highlight the tragic loss of wildlife that belongs to us all.  

Witnesses to any wildlife-related crime are encouraged to report information to Operation Game Thief at (800) 992-3030. 

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, conserves, manages and restores wildlife and its habitat for the aesthetic, scientific, educational, recreational, and economic benefits to citizens of Nevada and the United States, and to promote the safety of persons using vessels on the waters of Nevada. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org