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Man suspected of poaching deer, elk reaches plea agreement

March 8, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man accused of illegally killing more than a dozen deer and elk will have 41 of 45 counts pending against him dismissed as part of a plea deal.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Thursday that a search warrant affidavit from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish says 20-year-old Jacob Leyba and friends are suspected of conspiring to kill the animals and sell heads for profit.

The affidavit says the men killed the animals in areas of Mud Spring, Echo Canyon, Regina and Youngsville, sawed the heads off most of the animals and left carcasses to rot.

Leyba had faced eight felony charges and 37 misdemeanor counts. He pleaded guilty to four felony counts.

He has not been sentenced.

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This version corrects that the suspect is from New Mexico, not Nevada.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com

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