A report of a possible poaching led game wardens from the Nevada Department of Wildlife down a path that resulted in the conviction of two men for multiple incidents of illegally killing wildlife.
Game Wardens originally received a tip of the illegal killing of an antelope near Lund, Nevada in White Pine County.
The investigation led them to 22-year-old Garrett Higbee, of Alamo, Nevada. Evidence linked Higbee not only to the killing of the doe antelope, but also to an illegal killing of a bull elk in August of 2018.
During the investigation, Wardens also uncovered evidence that an acquaintance of Higbee, 25-year-old Jordan Crtys, had also illegally killed two mule deer near Hiko, Nevada in Lincoln County.
“This was a disturbing case,” said Game Warden Captain Jake Kreamer. “The evidence just kept leading from one crime to another.”
Higbee pled guilty to the unlawful killing of both animals and was convicted of a felony for the bull elk and a gross misdemeanor for the antelope.
He was sentenced to 90 days in the White Pine County Jail and faces $14,000 in penalties. Higbee is currently in the White Pine County Jail. He also faces additional charges in Lincoln County for the unlawful killing of a mule deer.
“I don’t know if he (Higbee) thought he was above the law, or that he would never get caught, but this was a real pattern for this individual,” said Kreamer.
Cryst, who was also a resident of Alamo when the crimes occurred, but currently resides in Cedar City, Utah, was convicted of a gross misdemeanor and received a $5,000 fine and 14-day jail sentence in the Lincoln County Jail.
“It’s pretty clear that Judges Steve Dobrescu and Gary Fairman of the Seventh Judicial District Court (Lincoln County), along with the district attorney offices for both White Pine and Lincoln are sending a message that these crimes are going to be met with severe penalties.”
To report wildlife crime, sportsmen and members of the public can call the OGT hotline at (800) 992-3030 or use the new NDOW Tip app.
The NDOW Tip app provides citizens the ability to submit anonymous tips, photos or video to the Nevada Department of Wildlife via text messaging.
NDOW Tip is available for download for free via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, or by visiting the agency’s website at www.ndow.org.