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NM: Hearing set in Taos, NM, in poaching case

Hearing set in Taos, NM, in poaching case

April 18, 2011

TAOS, N.M. (AP) A pretrial hearing is set Tuesday for a Taos man accused of poaching 39 animals and throwing several carcasses off the Rio Grande Gorge bridge in northern New Mexico.

Ray Cortez has pleaded not guilty.

The state Game and Fish Department accused him of the illegal killing and possessing 29 deer, five bears, a cougar and four elk through August 2010 and of outfitting without a license.

The charges were filed Jan. 21 after search warrants alleged Cortez possessed numerous game animal parts but no licenses or carcass tags showing legal ownership.

The 25-year-old Cortez previously was convicted of hunting cougars in a closed area, hunting cougars without a license, hunting turkeys during a closed season and violating the summer closure at the Valle Vidal.

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