Two Tennessee hunters have been permanently banned from hunting in 44 states after illegally killing as many as 40 deer, then taking photos and videos mocking the animals, The Tennessean reported.
The punishment for La Vergne residents Densibel Calzada, 23, and Eddy Albert, 21, is the harshest penalty ever issued by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
“We will never know how many deer these two killed, but we believe they could have poached at least 40,” said TWRA Sgt. Matt Brian. “We charged them with violations based on the strongest evidence we found showing the seriousness of their poaching crimes.”
Along with the lifetime ban, Calzada and Albert were ordered to pay $1,000 each in court costs, $5,000 in restitution, had their weapons (a rifle and a crossbow) confiscated, must perform 100 hours of community service for the TWRA and were placed on 18-month probation.
“People don’t understand what banning them for life does to them,” said TWRA information officer Doug Markham. “It destroys their ability to move around with a gun. If they get caught again, they could go to jail.”
Search warrants served by TWRA officers on Calzada and Albert’s homes produced cell phones that included photos and videos of the two disrespecting the animals they poached.
“They were getting on top of the deer and doing all sorts of things,” Markham said. “They had one where the deer was still alive and they blew his head off. They were high-fiving each other after showing the hole where they had shot one at nighttime. I didn’t see all of the videos, but the officer said some of it was just really grotesque.”
The TWRA became aware of Calzada and Albert on Dec. 26 after receiving a call that they were trepassing on private land. Both were issued citations by the TWRA. A Smyrna police officer stopped them two days later and found beer and a dead deer in their truck.
“That’s when it all fell apart for (Calzada and Albert),” Markham said. “That’s when we started doing search warrants on their phone and their house and started finding stuff everywhere.”