April 1, 2009
Sumner, New Mexico -- A Fort Sumner man was sentenced to 57 days in jail and
ordered to pay $2,225 in fines and court costs after he pleaded guilty to five
wildlife-related charges, including the poaching of a near state-record
Loy Minton, 25, originally was charged with 16 wildlife-related crimes stemming
from an investigation into deer poaching in the Fort Sumner Valley. Minton has
been in jail since Jan. 27, when a search warrant was served at his house.
DeBaca County Magistrate Buddy Hall accepted an agreement in which Minton
pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful possession of deer and two counts of
unlawful killing of deer. Minton forfeited the rifle used in the crimes and
faces another 350 days in jail for probation violations.
Minton also faces civil penalties to reimburse the state of New Mexico for the
loss of the deer. Three of the bucks, one white-tailed and two mule deer, exceed
the minimum requirements for increased civil penalties. Those penalties could be
as high as $16,000 due to the trophy quality of the three bucks. The white-tail
would have been a new state record except for two broken antler tines.
Anyone with information about any wildlife crime in New Mexico is urged to call
Operation Game Thief at 1-800-432-GAME (4263). Callers need not identify
themselves or testify in court, and may be eligible for rewards.