One of two men caught illegally poaching three endangered Key deer was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months in federal custody. The other received supervised release for a year.
U.S. District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez handed down the sentences to Eric Damas Acosta, 18, who received the prison term plus two years of supervised release after he gets out; and Tumani Anthony Young, 23, who received 180 days of home confinement and two years of supervised release. Both also have to do 200 hours of community service.
They were in federal court on Simonton Street in Key West.
Miami Gardens resident Acosta and Broward Country resident Younge, 23, were arrested July 2 on Little Torch Key after a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputy pulled them over for a traffic violation and found the three deer in Damas Acosta’s four-door Hyundai Sonata. Two deer were in the backseat and one in the trunk. The buck in the trunk later had to be euthanized.
It’s never been publicly revealed what the two planned to do with the deer, which are found only in the Lower Keys.
Both men initially pleaded not guilty in August to violating the U.S. Endangered Species Act but then later changed their pleas to guilty.