Two South Florida men who were caught in July with two Florida Key deer hog-tied in the backseat of their car and a full-grown buck tied up in the trunk, have pleaded guilty to the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Erik Damas Acosta, 18, of Miami Gardens, and Anthony Younge, 23, of Tamarac, are each facing up to a year in prison after agreeing to the deal Monday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.
The Associated Press reported that prosecutors are expected to ask for leniency during the Oct. 30 sentencing in Key West federal court.
Back in July, the two were stopped in Little Torch Key while heading north on the Overseas Highway when a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the black Hyundai Sonata they were driving had a broken tail light.
It didn’t take the officer long to discover two does in the backseat, their feet tied together with twine and a contorted full-grown buck in the trunk, also tied up. The buck was bleeding. One of the endangered deer had to be euthanized days later due to a broken leg.
The sheriff’s deputy said Acosta told him the two lured the deer with pieces of bread, then grabbed them and tied them. He said he only wanted to take pictures of the federally protected animals.
Younge, who told a judge in August that he was asleep in the car when the deer were captured, originally pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Key West.