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Orange County Brothers Guilty of Killing Bottlenose Dolphin in Cow Bayou

Bottlenose Dolphin in Cow Bayou

Two Bridge City, Texas brothers have pleaded guilty to federal wildlife violations, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales in a U.S. Dept. of Justice press release on February 18th.

According to information presented in court, on July 26, 2014, two men were fishing on Cow Bayou near Orangefield, Texas, when they spotted two bottlenose dolphins stranded in the bayou. They shot at the dolphins with a compound bow and one of the men hit one of the dolphins. The dolphin swam away but was mortally wounded. Wildlife agents were notified by a fisherman that there was a dead dolphin in the bayou. The deceased dolphin was recovered and an investigation resulted in federal charges against the brothers. The second dolphin was located in the bayou and rescued by wildlife agents and SeaWorld San Antonio personnel.

The defendants each face up to one year in federal prison and a $20,000.00 fine. A sentencing date has not been set.

"We are extremely pleased that this case is being resolved," said Colonel Craig Hunter, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "The dedication, professionalism, and teamwork demonstrated by investigators from NOAA, CGIS, and TPWD proved to be successful in solving this egregious criminal act. The U.S. Attorney's Office is to be commended for their role and hopefully this prosecution will deter others from illegally taking our natural resources for their personal enjoyment."

This case was investigated by the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph R. Batte.

Wardens Named Officers of the Year

Eddie Hood Named Midwest Officer of the Year

Two Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens have been recognized at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Commission meeting at Austin Headquarters.

Derek Spitzer (first photo, standing between Chairman Dan Hughes Jr. and Executive Director Carter Smith) won the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies 2014 Texas Wildlife Officer of the Year award, marking the 45th year this award has been presented to a Texas Game Warden. He is currently stationed in Wood County. Additional details »

John Thorne (second photo, alongside Chairman Dan Hughes, Texas Boating Law Administrator Asst. Cmdr. Cody Jones, and Executive Director Carter Smith) won the National Association of Boating Law Administrators Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, having received the honor originally at the organization's 55th annual conference in Bar Harbor, ME. He is currently stationed in Freestone County. Additional details »

K-9 Wardens

Meet the new K-9 corps! This story shows the first-ever K-9 team of Texas Game Wardens meeting their new four-legged partners. The first training phase shown here focuses on narcotics. That's a reality of what game wardens encounter in the field, though it's only one aspect of their broader work. K-9 teams also learn search and rescue, how to sniff out illegal hunting/fishing evidence, and many other skills.

Learn more about the K-9 Team »