Note: This item is more than three months old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.
Nov. 20, 2013
Texas Game Wardens “Like” End Result of Angler’s Facebook Post
AUSTIN – A South Texas man has pled guilty to nine charges of possession of oversized red drum, one charge of no saltwater fishing license, and one charge of exceeding the possession limit for red drum.
The investigation leading to the filing of charges against 30-year-old Luis Castro began with a Facebook post showing a man holding a large red drum with eight other oversize drum on display in the bed of a pickup truck. (The bag limit for redfish is three per day, and they must be between 20 and 28 inches. Only one redfish longer than that can be kept, and only with a properly completed redfish tag attached to it.)
On Nov. 1, game wardens in Cameron County were contacted about the Facebook picture, which had originally been placed on line by Castro’s brother. Accompanying the image was the comment, “just for fun.”
Game wardens ended up receiving multiple complaints regarding the Facebook post. TPWD dispatchers and game wardens were able to review records which eventually resulted in the positive identification of Castro and his place of employment.
On Nov. 6, game wardens interviewed Castro and obtained a signed written statement. Five days later, Willacy County Justice of the Peace George Solis issued an arrest warrant for Castro and game wardens arrested him the same day. Following arraignment, he was released with a court date of Nov. 19.
“Anglers on several social media sites were posting negative comments, and a day after the picture was originally posted, it was removed,” said Game Warden Maj. Alan Teague. “However, the picture had been saved by many anglers and reposted.”
Teague said the picture made it to fishing groups as far away as Florida.
“With tips from anglers and hard work by our game wardens and dispatchers, we were able to track the individual to a city in South Texas,” Teague said.
During sentencing, Justice of the Peace Solis noted how important recreational fishing is to the people in Willacy County which includes Port Mansfield. Before sentencing Castro, the judge pointed out that there are people in the county whose livelihood depends upon the quality and future of recreational fishing.
“It was an obscene number of fish that you caught,” the judge said to the defendant. “We are all living paycheck-to-paycheck but none of us are going hungry. It was completely unnecessary to take that many fish.”
Castro was fined $2,600 and an additional $2,645.91 will be assessed as part of the civil restitution.
Photo Editors: Images associated with this news release are available on the TPWD Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/).
Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.
Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.
Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.
To copy text into an editing software:
- Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
- Select all.
- Paste in a document in your editing program.
Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.
English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.
If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Plain Text Pages.