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Three Nevada men accused of trespassing in a national park and killing one of the world’s rarest fish have been arrested and will almost certainly face criminal charges. The three individuals are Trenton Sargent, 26; Steven Schwinkendorf, 29; and Edgar Reyes, 35.

According to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, the three men allegedly broke into an area of the Death Valley National Park that was designated as environmentally protected, destroyed electric cameras monitoring the premises, rammed a gate with their off-road vehicle, stomped around in a critical ecosystem and at least one of the men went swimming in the 93-degree waters of Devils Hole—home to one of the world’s rarest fish, the Devils Hole Pupfish.

Based on investigatory reports released thus far, the police believe the men had been drinking and hunting in the park at the time of the alleged incident. As a result of the men’s actions, at least one Pupfish is believed to have died.

Because the alleged conduct took place in a national park a criminal case will likely proceed in the federal courts. The sheriff’s report indicates potential charges could include conspiracy, killing of an endangered species, trespassing, destruction of property, destruction of habitat, and a former felon in possession of a firearm. It remains to be seen where and what charges are actually filed.

Criminal charges are a serious matter with serious, potentially life-altering consequences.
If you, a loved one, or someone you know has been charged with a crime, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights as early as possible in the criminal legal process.

Ronald G. Brower is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Southern California. Based out of Orange County, Attorney Brower has represented individuals charged with a range of crimes in both state court and federal court.

Contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower online or by telephone at 714-997-4400.

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