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Grand Jury Indicts Ten in Big Game Case

April 14, 2005

A federal grand jury indicted ten individuals yesterday for 15 alleged violations of federal wildlife laws and federal conspiracy laws.

The indictment charged the individuals with recruiting clients to come to New Mexico to engage in illegal hunting and killing of big game on the Valles Caldera National Preserve and other public lands in the state.

The individuals named in the indictment are Mike Archuleta, Jeffrey Clem, Wesley McGlothlin, Colin Clem, Eric Garcia, Shawn Hamrick, Ernest Salazar, Vernon McCall, Mark Martinez, and Rudy Valdez. Seven of the individuals named in the indictment are residents of New Mexico and the other three are residents of Virginia. Archuleta is the owner/operator of Mark V. Outfitters and Sierra Taxidermy in Espanola, New Mexico. Wesley McGlothlin is the owner/operator of Antler Ridge Taxidermy in Amissville, Virginia. The other individuals are guides employed by Mark V. Outfitters. The defendants would act as guides and outfitters for the hunter clients.

The individuals are accused of providing guiding, outfitting and other services for money which resulted in the unlawful taking and selling of wildlife with a market value in excess of $350.

The indictment alleged that commercial outfitters and guides charged out-of-state clients to hunt elk and other game in violation of state and federal wildlife conservation laws. This conduct is prohibited by the Lacey Act, a federal statute that forbids the sale, purchase or transportation of illegally taken game. Penalties for violations of the Lacey Act include include five years in prison and $250,000 fine per person and $500,000 per organization.

Law enforcement representatives from New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, New Mexico State Police, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service and the Quantico Marine Corps Base cooperated on the investigation.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.



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