2 men plead guilty to tying up endangered Key deer

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By: Associated Press
September 27, 2017

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- Two Florida men have pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. Endangered Species Act for tying up three Key deer in the back of a car in July.

According to a report in The Citizen, 18-year-old Erik Yosany Damas Acosta of Miami Gardens and 23-year-old Tumani Anthony Younge of Tamara each face up to a year in federal prison after signing plea agreements Monday in Fort Lauderdale federal court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Watts-Fitzgerald said prosecutors would ask for leniency at their Oct. 30 sentencing in Key West federal court.

Both men also face state felony charges of cruelty to animals and killing or wounding an endangered, threatened, or species of special concern.

One deer found in the trunk of the men's car had to be euthanized. Two others were released in the Lower Keys.

By: Associated Press
August 12, 2017

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida man caught with protected deer in a car pleaded not guilty to federal charges of violating the Endangered Species Act.

The Miami Herald reports 18-year-old Erik Damas Acosta of Miami Gardens was released Friday on $20,000 bond after his arraignment in Key West federal court.

Damas Acosta and 23-year-old Tumani Anthony Younge of Tamarac were arrested in July after a deputy found three Key deer in their car during a traffic stop.

Damas Acosta's attorney, Joe Nascimento, said his client was "saddened" that one deer was euthanized because of a broken leg.

Younge will be arraigned in federal court Aug. 25. The men pleaded not guilty to state felony charges, including aggravated animal cruelty.

Key deer grow to the size of a large dog. They're only found in the remote island chain.

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