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Additional Contacts: Maj. Butch Shoop, (817) 831-3128, butch.shoop@tpwd.texas.gov; Jana A. Jones, (940)627-5257, jjones@co.wise.tx.us

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — Feb. 26, 2007

Stolen Night-Vision Goggles Recovered in Poaching Investigation

DECATUR, Texas — Wise County District Attorney Jana A. Jones announced Tues. the arrest of six men suspected of stealing military night vision equipment and using it to illegally hunt.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens and special operations investigators, in cooperation with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, arrested the men, from Wise and Parker Counties, Feb. 15 and 16.

The arrests came after a four-month investigation into illegal hunting activity in Wise, Montague, Jack, Parker and Tarrant Counties. In early January, additional information about the use of the stolen night vision goggles was discovered.

Each of the suspects has been charged with Theft over $1,500, a State Jail Felony.

All four night vision devices — valued at $4,200 each — reported missing from Texas Army National Guard supplies in the Laredo area were recovered. A separate, internal National Guard investigation after the equipment was discovered missing also identified one of the suspects arrested last week.

“This was a great team effort,” said Jones. “TPWD, our local law enforcement and the National Guard cooperated very well in this investigation, identified the alleged culprits and recovered every single missing item of military hardware.”

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