Patrick Foy, DFG Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-2084
California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) wardens have arrested two Menlo Park men on poaching charges for shooting a deer after temporarily blinding it with a light.
In the early morning hours of Sep. 16, Warden-Pilot Gavin Woelfel was flying a DFG aircraft looking for poachers with a night vision device. He noticed two men driving slowly down a remote US Forest Service (USFS) road in the darkness while shining a light out the windows of their truck. They appeared to be spotlighting, which is when poachers shine a light into deers eyes at night. The bright light causes the deer to freeze, making it an easy shot.
From his airplane, Warden Woelfel watched two men exit the vehicle and one fire his rifle at an object off the side of the road. The man then walked off the road and fired his rifle a second time before returning to his vehicle and driving off.
Warden Woelfel monitored the vehicle as it drove back to the Dry Oak Campground in the Mendocino National Forest. Wardens Michael Pascoe, Patrick Freeling and Timothy Little, along with USFS Law Enforcement Officer Christopher Magallon, were called to the scene. When they arrived at 3:25 a.m., they located the suspects pickup and made contact with its occupants, including driver Cecundino Angel, 50, his son, Rogelio Angel Quevedo, 21, and another juvenile son. The cab of the pickup was found to contain two rifles, one pistol and a large flashlight.
Meanwhile, DFG Lt. Loren Freeman responded to the site of the shooting, where he located a freshly killed doe.
Both of the older suspects ultimately admitted to spotlighting deer and Angel admitted to killing the doe. One of the rifles in Angel’s possession was found to be stolen out of Washington.
Angel was arrested and booked into Mendocino County jail on charges of possession of a stolen firearm, spotlighting, shooting big game at night and waste of game. USFS Officer Magallon also issued Angel a citation for littering, an unsafe campfire and other assorted federal violations.
The older son, Quevedo, was cited for spotlighting and shooting big game at night.