Three men convicted for illegal killing of bear |

Three men convicted for illegal killing of bear

Three men who illegally hunted and killed a bear in 2017 were recently convicted of poaching and sentenced last week.

Daniel Rubio, Elisio Rubio Sr., and Elisio Rubio Jr., all of Dayton, were convicted Tuesday of killing a big game animal without a tag, a category E felony, and given civil penalties of $5,000 each, according to a press release from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

None will serve jail time.

The men were accused of conspiring for nearly a year to kill the bear outside of its den in the Pine Nut Mountains in February of 2017, according to the release.

NDOW said the men approached the bear’s den from three different angles, set up in different spots, and shot the bear multiple times from different angles.

“Poaching in any form is disturbing, but this case reached a whole other level,” said Tyler Turnipseed, chief game warden for NDOW, in the release. “These men basically ambushed this bear in mid-winter just for the thrill of killing it. This was a disgusting act and I’m extremely proud of the efforts that went into bringing these men to justice.”  

The convictions were the result of a case which NDOW said was painstakingly investigated for over a year by state game wardens.

Over the course of the investigation, wardens spent months locating and collecting evidence, executed several search warrants and interviewed suspects and witnesses.

Investigators were able to pinpoint the exact kill site and found several expended cartridges, and a mountain of other evidence.

Seized evidence included four rifles, cellular phones, poached bear and deer parts, bullet casings and large amounts of digital data to support the case.

“It’s important to clarify that poachers are not hunters,” Turnispeed said. “In this case, it’s worth mentioning, because these three men are so far removed from the ethical sportsmen and women who legally hunt in Nevada. There is literally no comparison. These men have never even owned a hunting license, much less a big game tag.”

One unique aspect of this case is that investigators were able to show a year’s worth of intent and premeditation. The defendants were aware of this bear and his hibernation den for 11 months before they killed him, according to the release.

As convicted felons, the three men may never again possess firearms.

To report wildlife crime, sportsmen and members of the public can call Operation Game Thief at 800-992-3030.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune is a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.

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