Man gets jail sentence in deer poaching
October 2, 2012
A 33-year-old Holbrook Junction man was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in Douglas County Jail as a term of probation for illegally killing a doe pregnant with twins.
District Judge Dave Gamble sentenced Gonsalvo Cossio to 30 months in prison, suspended, and placed him on probation for three years.
He must forfeit a .22-caliber rifle used to kill the doe in March, and pay a total of $4,000 in fines.
Cossio’s lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said with a felony conviction there is a possibility his client could be deported.
Cossio’s brother, Jesus Cossio-Pitones, 37, was sentenced to a suspended six-month jail sentence and placed on probation for three years.
Neither man can possess firearms during probation.
Cossio-Pitones is not allowed to hunt or apply for a tag or hunting license during probation.
He was fined $1,000.
The incident took place on March 24 near where the brothers live in Holbrook Junction.
According to reports, authorities were alerted to the illegal kill by a call to the Nevada Division of Wildlife Operation Game Thief.
As game warden Brian Eller was investigating the tip, he saw the suspects’ red pickup leaving the area.
The vehicle was stopped, and Eller saw the deer hide and guts wrapped in clear plastic.
He said the suspects’ clothes were covered with blood.
Gamble asked Cossio why he originally told investigators that “a white guy hit the deer with a car and gave you the carcass.”
Speaking through an interpreter, Cossio denied lying to the officers.
Gamble asked prosecutor Maria Pence why she elected to charge the offense as a felony instead of a gross misdemeanor.
Pence said she felt Cossio knew what he had done as evidenced by his original statements, “instead of just saying he was hungry and wanted the meat to feed his family.”
She said Eller calculated the cost of the investigation at $4,000.
Gamble, noting the difference in the brothers’ culpability, gave Cossio-Pitones a lighter sentence.
He pleaded guilty to possession of a deer without a valid tag.
Attorney Kris Brown said her client had no prior criminal record.
“He is a very hardworking individual, working to take care of his family and his children. If he’s not working, he’s looking for a job,” Brown said. “He got involved in this situation with another family member. He now knows he should not have done that.”
“I am very sorry, and this will not happen again,” he said.
OPERATION GAME THIEF
Operation Game Thief was established to protect Nevada’s diverse wildlife resources. Report wildlife violations to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week. Callers remain anonymous, and are assigned a unique case number which allows the tipster to obtain status reports on the case. The number also allows for collection of a reward if offered. Call 1-800-992-3030 to report a wildlife violation.