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Government 4 sentenced for using helicopter for sport hunting in Texas

4 sentenced for using helicopter for sport hunting in Texas

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LAREDO, Texas (AP) — A rancher and a pilot are among four men sentenced to one year of probation and fined for a 2017 South Texas trip using a helicopter to hunt and kill exotic animals.

A federal judge in Laredo on Wednesday sentenced 36-year-old Cody Morganthaler of Oklahoma and three men from Laredo — 33-year-old Edelmiro Martinez, 39-year-old Eduardo Lopez and 56-year-old Inocente Sanchez.

Prosecutors say Martinez owned Laredo Hunting Resort. Sanchez flies helicopters. Lopez helped organize the $12,000 hunt in which Morganthaler killed four antelope and sheep, on the ground and from the air.

All pleaded guilty to violating federal law that bans using aircraft to shoot animals for sport or trophy hunting.

Morganthaler, Martinez, and Lopez must pay $5,000 fines. The pilot was fined $2,500.

Morganthaler’s Oklahoma hometown wasn’t immediately available.

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