Published: May 07, 2010 8:03 PM EDT

HENDRY COUNTY, Fla. - Day after day, officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) use their extensive knowledge of the woods and water to track down individuals who are suspected of abusing our state’s precious fish and wildlife resources.  That’s just what happened Thursday night, on a dark country road in Hendry County.

Knowing that high water forces deer out of the swamps and up near roads to feed, officers conducted surveillance on County Road 832 near Okaloacoochee Slough Wildlife Management Area when they noticed a van turning around several times and shining lights in the woods. Officers stopped the van and questioned the subjects. Inside the van, the officers found four deer that had been shot.

Officers charged three Miami-Dade county residents: 

  • Lazaro Lopez, age 48, of Hialeah
  • Andres Mena Jr., age 25, of Miami
  • Andres Mena Sr., age 44, of Miami

The three suspects were each charged with four counts each of illegally taking deer at night with a gun and a light during the closed season and four counts each of hunting from a county-maintained road. The men were booked into the Hendry County Jail on the misdemeanor charges.

“As this case shows, suspected poachers will travel long distances to kill deer,” said FWC Capt. Jeff Ardelean. “FWC officers are dedicated to protecting our fish and wildlife resources, particularly when they are most vulnerable.”