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DRAGNET: TEXAS GAME WARDEN’S EDITION

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Don’t Mess with Texas Armadillos.A miscreant who found and tortured an armadillo, and then posted a video on social media of the despicable act now faces serious time behind bars thanks to the investigative efforts of a pair of Texas game wardens. A few months ago after learning of the incident, game wardens made a criminal animal cruelty case by securing videos and other evidence, statements and an arrest warrant that landed the young man in jail. The defendant’s plea deal on two separate charges, including burglary of a habitation and the animal cruelty case resulted in a 6-year sentence on both charges to be served concurrently in state prison. Starting Off the New Year in a Fog Just after midnight on New Year’s morning, a Montgomery County game warden along with a ride-along were patrolling on Highway 59, when they entered a dense fog mixed with fireworks smoke. The warden noticed multiple vehicles were involved in a pile up and activated his emergency lights. Both the game warden and his observer provided basic medical attention and moved all the vehicles’ occupants to safety. However, more vehicles continued to slam into the mound of crashed cars. As the warden was providing updates to dispatch, another vehicle came crashing into the scene. He was able to toss his mic into the truck, slam the door, and jump out of the way as the SUV that had already hit several other vehicles came skidding by the driver’s side of his patrol unit. In total, more than 20 vehicles were involved in the accident before emergency personnel were able to stop traffic ahead of the fog bank. The game warden’s truck was the only vehicle on the scene that remained undamaged. Snail’s End On December 20, a Travis County game warden was contacted by a U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS Smuggling Interdiction Trade Compliance officer to assist in having a local resident surrender some Giant African Land Snails. The Giant African snails are a highly-regulated invasive species considered to be one of the most damaging snails in the world. If fruits and vegetables are not available, they will eat a wide variety of ornamental plants, tree bark and even paint and stucco on houses. These snails are known to carry organisms that can cause diseases in humans and livestock. Threw the Fish Back…into the Bucket While patrolling Matagorda for recreational fishing compliance, game wardens came across two men fishing. When asked if they had caught anything, one man stated, “Yes, but I threw them back because they were too small.” After being asked a few more times about having any fish, the gentleman finally said, “Yes, the ones I kept are in that bucket.” After inspecting the contents of the bucket, three undersized red drum, one undersized sheepshead, and one undersized black drum were recovered. Citations and civil restitution pending. The fish were donated to a local family in need

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