The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department law enforcement reports.
- Prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse
The U.S. Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force contacted a Howard County game warden to assist with locating a suspect named in a felony arrest warrant. Once the arrest had been made, a search warrant was issued and the suspect’s residence searched. Law enforcement officers found one deer rifle, two AK-47s and about 4,000 rounds of ammunition in the house. Other items found in the house included a gas mask, ammunition cans full of red beans and rice, knives, medical supplies, marijuana and a stack of $100 bills. The suspect was charged with drug possession, possession of a dangerous drug and felon in possession of a firearm.
- Sandbox Love Story
In the Red Sands/Montana Desert area in eastern El Paso County, a man lost his car and his girlfriend. The couple had gone joyriding when the car got stuck in the sand. The boyfriend then left on foot to get to the main road and call for help, since cell service was unavailable in the desert area. He headed back to the desert with two friends who had come to help, but he could not remember where his girlfriend and vehicle were. He and his friends asked two El Paso game wardens for help. After two hours of searching, the wardens called for the assistance of a Texas DPS helicopter. After a quick flyover, the pilots found the car stuck in a sandpit. The lost woman was dehydrated and dizzy but in good condition.
- Shots Fired in the End Zone
Last year, a Longview game warden received information about illegal dove hunting over a baited field near a football field in the Pine Tree ISD. The information included reports of shotgun pellets hitting bleachers during a junior varsity football game. This year, the game warden returned to the field on opening morning of dove season and found a group of hunters hunting over a baited field behind the stadium end zone. Because opening day fell on a holiday this year, students and players were nowhere near the field.
- Into the Woods
Five hours after his disappearance, Shelby County game wardens received a call that a man had left his house with a shotgun and entered a heavily wooded area. The wardens and other county law enforcement officers used a helicopter and tracking dogs in their search. Almost nine hours after the man went missing, the search party heard a single gunshot. With night vision capabilities, the wardens headed toward the direction of the shot, located and disarmed the man and took him into custody.
- Stolen Boat? Stolen Everything.
A Dallas County game warden received information from a Tarrant County game warden about a stolen boat inquiry at the Fort Worth regional Law Enforcement Office, where a man was asking about getting a title for a boat the office clerk confirmed as stolen. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach the man by phone or email, game wardens went to the man’s residence, which was surrounded by a privacy fence. The wardens met the man at his fence and asked if he had a boat for sale and if they could see it. The man allowed the wardens to enter his yard, where they noticed several vehicles, an ATV, the boat and several go karts. Using the confidential hull identification number, the wardens confirmed the boat was stolen. After some investigation, they found that one vehicle and the ATV were also reported stolen. The stolen vehicle was also reported to have been used in a recent burglary. The wardens worked with the Arlington Police Department Auto Theft Division to arrest the man and recover the stolen vehicles and boat.
- Weapon of Choice: Snapchat
Polk County game wardens assisted the Diboll Police Department in locating an individual who sent threatening messages to school children via Snapchat, an instant messaging service. The subject was arrested for terroristic threats, a third-degree felony.
- Shock on the Water
A Robertson County game warden and a Brazos County game warden contacted a group of seven fishermen on the Brazos River outside of Hearne, where the fishermen had just pulled their boat out of the water. The wardens believed these were the fishermen involved in a case of illegal fishing, which the wardens had been investigating for two years. As the wardens approached the boat, one fisherman immediately went around to the other side of the boat. When the wardens caught up to him, they saw him trying to pull a fish shocker and cables from the boat. The boat owner admitted to having the electronic fish shocking device and using it to catch the nine catfish they had onboard. After getting consent to search the vehicles on scene, the wardens found another shocking device under the driver’s side seat of one of the vehicles, which the vehicle’s owner admitted owning. The two fishermen were arrested and charged with possessing electronic shocking devices within half a mile of public water.
- Under the Bridge
While checking river crossings, a Montgomery County game warden saw a man and woman sitting under a bridge. The couple appeared to be passing a pipe back and forth, and the man also appeared to have a needle. After arriving on the scene, the warden recovered a pipe containing methamphetamine and a needle containing an unidentified liquid. The warden also found a small bottle with more unidentified substances. The couple was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. The woman also had warrants for possession with intent to distribute.
- Buried Buck
A Runnels County game warden received a call from a landowner who had found a buck that had been shot and dragged into the brush behind a deer feeder. The warden questioned the only hunter left on the ranch and was able to exclude all but two of the hunters who had hunted that blind within the last few days. After some phone calls, a teenaged boy from Bastrop admitted that he killed the buck and hid it because it didn’t meet the ranch harvest rules, and he was not supposed to shoot bucks in the first place. A Bastrop County game warden assisted in getting statements.
- Facebook Fish Market
After receiving information that a man was selling fish on Facebook, Cameron County game wardens contacted the man to set up a buy. The wardens arrived at the man’s residence where he was selling the fish, including red drum, spotted sea trout, flounder and sheepshead. After the man sold the fish to the wardens, the wardens issued the man citations that included not having a retail fish dealer license, sale and purchase of commercially protected fish and possession of undersize red drum.