Poachers Sentenced to Hard Labor Program in Southern California

Four men have been sentenced in Riverside Superior Court for illegally catching more than 200 fish in a private community lake.

The four men, Antonio Palacios, 32 and Sandoval Palacios, 24, both of Los Angeles, Santos Sandoval, 40, of Torrance and Najera Sandoval, 25, of Compton all pled guilty to one misdemeanor Fish and Game Code violation of unlawful possession. They were each ordered to serve 30 days in Riverside County Sheriff’s Office alternative sentencing hard labor program and three years of probation. They were also ordered to pay fines totaling $410 and they cannot obtain a fishing license or fish.

In July 2013, all were originally charged with fishing without a license, possession of illegal fishing gear, over limit of sunfish, over limit of bass and possession of short fish.

“I hope this sentencing sends a message to individuals who blatantly break the law with no respect for sportsmen who obey the rules and respect the outdoors,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Warden Dustin Holyoak. “The state’s natural resources deserve to be respected for everyone to enjoy for generations to come.”

In June 2013, CDFW officers received an anonymous tip that these four men were using gill nets to take fish from a remote area of Canyon Lake. Gill and throw nets are illegal to possess within 100 yards of any inland body of water in the state.

The wardens contacted the fishermen as they were leaving the water with the nets and seized one gill net, one throw net and 238 fish, including 29 carp, 126 sunfish and 83 bass, of which 74 were undersized.

All the seized fish were dead and could not be returned to the water.

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944