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article imageTN hunters banned for life in 44 states; killed 40 deer illegally

By Megan Hamilton     Feb 11, 2016 in Crime
After poaching more than 40 deer, two Tennessee hunters have been given the stiffest penalty the state has ever handed down.
Densibel Calzada, 23, and Eddy Albert, 21, have been given a lifetime hunting ban in Tennessee and 43 other states.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency alleges that the men killed the deer at night, on private property, and out of season, The New York Daily News reports. Then they took photos and videos that mocked the dead animals.
Densibel Calzada  23.
Densibel Calzada, 23.
YouTube screen grab News Live
TWRA Sgt. Matt Brian said the exact number of deer the two men killed will never be known, but it's believed that they may have poached at least 40, The Tennessean reports.
"Their actions were among the worst I have seen for their lack of respect to our landowners and to our wildlife."
TWRA officers, armed with search warrants, investigated the men's homes and found cell phones containing photos and videos of the two mocking the animals they had killed.
The men were climbing on the deer and mocking the creatures, TWRA information officer Doug Markham told the Tennessean.
"They had one where the deer was still alive and they blew his head off."
In another instance, the men could be seen high-fiving each other and showing the wound where they had shot a deer one night, he noted.
Calzada and Albert were charged with hunting without permission, hunting out of season, killing deer at night, and illegal transportation of wildlife. They entered guilty pleas at the Rutherford County General Sessions court.
Alongside the lifetime ban, Calzada and Albert were ordered to pay $1,000 each in court costs, $5,000 in restitution, and their weapons, a rifle and a crossbow, were confiscated. They must also do 100 hours of community service for the TWRA, and were given 18 months probation.
Markham noted that when hunters are banned for life, they can no longer move around with a gun, USA Today reports.
"If they get caught again, they could go to jail," he said.
Albert and Calzada do not have prior criminal records.
The TWRA first learned about Calzada and Albert on Dec. 26, when a landowner in Rutherford County called to report that the men were tresspassing. The TRWA cited them for hunting without permission.
Then, just a couple of days later, Smyrna police officers detained them after receiving a report of firearms being discharged near the city's airport, The Tennessean reports. Officers notified the TWRA that beer, a rifle, and a dead deer, were found in a pickup truck with the men.
That prompted the TWRA to obtain warrants for Calzada and Albert's homes and cell phones.
The agency hopes this case will send a clear message about how serious it is in regards to protecting state resources, WSMV.com reports.
There's a difference between poachers and hunters, Markham noted.
"These guys have no ethics. You hope they grow out of it," he said. "Our real hunters have ethics and care about what goes on, and they are the sportsmen that support our management in Tennessee."
The 44 states where Calzada and Albert can no longer hunt are part of the Interstate Violators Compact. The TWRA hopes that with time, every state will participate.
More about tennessee hunters, hunters banned for life in 44 states, killed 40 deer illegally, densibel calzada, eddy albert
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