SACRAMENTO, CA - State fish and game officials have arrested three men in connection with a poaching ring that killed deer, elk and wild pig to sell the meat to private buyers in Northern California.
Lt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Game said the men - Jason Robert Martinez, 37, Elk Grove; Bryan Douglas Carrion, 46, Colusa and Gerald Henry Martin, 36, Pollock Pines - were arrested Saturday after a two month-long surveillance investigation.
Foy said the men were all convicted felons with fish and game violations and were found in possession of firearms; Martin had 38 firearms and Carrion had 15 illegal snares.
Foy said seven search warrants were served Saturday morning at private residences and a market where game meat was found in freezers; four properties in Sacramento County, two in Colusa County and one in El Dorado County were searched.
The investigation was sparked by ranch owners who complained of repeated poaching on their properties. The men were seen multiple times during their poaching trips.
Most of the poaching took place in the western Foothills of Colusa County, but also crossed into Butte and Glenn counties. Wardens believe the men poached at night by shining light into the animals eyes then shooting them.
Foy said the sale of the meat happened in Sacramento County.
The suspects were booked into the Colusa County jail.
The Associated Press and News10/KXTV