Two men accused of hunting a pair of protected bighorn sheep on private land and beheading them alongside an interstate highway in northern Oregon have been arrested on suspicion of poaching, police say.
Cody Plagmann, 37, and Justin Samora, 32, were taken into custody on Sunday along Interstate 84, some 90 miles east of Portland, and were expected to face misdemeanor charges when they appear in court on Friday, the Oregon State Police said in a written statement.
“Bighorn sheep are one of the rarest game mammals in Oregon today. Because of this, hunters can only draw the tag and get this hunting opportunity once in their lifetime and many never do despite years of applying,” state wildlife department spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said.
The herd where the two sheep were killed, along the Hood River near Biggs Junction, Oregon, are not ever legal for hunting, Dennehy added.
According to the state police, troopers responded to the scene in response to reports that a man was gutting a big game animal, possibly a bighorn sheep, and found Samora in his vehicle.
While the troopers were questioning Samora, passing motorists advised them that a second man was hiding in the brush, police said. A search turned up Plagmann as well as two severed sheep heads.
“Investigation revealed Plagmann and Samora had worked together to shoot and remove the heads of the bighorn sheep,” the Oregon State Police said in the statement.
Plagmann was arrested on suspicion of taking possession of bighorn sheep, wasting of a game animal and hunting on private land. Samora faces charges of aiding in a game violation.
It was not clear if the men had retained attorneys as of Tuesday.
Jeremy Thompson, district wildlife biologist in The Dalles, said in a statement that the protected herd of bighorn sheep has been a popular attraction along Interstate 84 for years.
Oregon has about 5,000 bighorn sheep, which are hunted only under strict guidelines. Last year, some 22,000 hunters applied for a lottery of 96 tags that would allow them to kill one animal each. One tag in 2015 sold at auction for $160,000, Dennehy said.The penalty for killing a bighorn sheep is up to a year in jail and $6,250 in fines. The state could also seek up to $25,000 in civil damages.Bighorn sheep were considered extirpated from the state in the early 19th century due to hunting and disease.
(Reporting by Shelby Sebens in Portland, Oregon; editing by Dan Whitcomb, G Crosse)
Rudy Giuliani is desperately trying to save Trump using ‘the word of a KGB agent’: CNN’s David Gergen
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani this week has been in Ukraine working with a wide variety of shady characters with the intent of digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
Among other people, Giuliani has been talking to are Andrii Telizhenko, a former Ukrainian diplomat who is also suspected of working for Russian intelligence operations, and Andriy Derkach, who attended the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB in Moscow and whose father was a former KGB officer.
Trump’s ‘illegal payments’ under scrutiny as House conducts second probe running parallel to impeachment
According to a report from Politico, some House Democrats are disappointed that Donald Trump's violations of the emoluments clause does not appear to have a future as part of the articles of impeachment against the president, so they are continuing on with their own ongoing investigation with the hope it may be added at a later time.
North Korea threatens to resume referring to Trump as a ‘dotard’
North Korea has threatened to resume referring to US president Donald Trump as a "dotard", raising the prospect of a return to a war of words with a negotiating deadline approaching.
Pyongyang has set Washington an end-of-year time limit to offer it new concessions in deadlocked nuclear negotiations, and has said it will adopt an unspecified "new way" if nothing acceptable is forthcoming.
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un -- whose countries and their allies fought each other to a standstill in the 1950-53 Korean War -- engaged in mutual insults and threats of devastation in 2017, sending tensions soaring before a diplomatic rapprochement the following year.