SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The State Supreme Court upheld a Court of Appeals judgment earlier this year in the case of the illegal poaching of a trophy from a mule deer buck in December of 2015. Cody W. Davis of Arnegard, North Dakota is ordered to pay $74,000 in restitution to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

Story continues below:

According to an NMDGF press release, a tip led investigators to a headless deer carcass near Lindrith, NM. The headless mule deer buck was found and later, its stashed head was located. Officers set up around the clock surveillance and Davis was later seen retrieving the antlers and then dumping them into the Rio Grande to try and dispose of them.

Wardens traveled to North Dakota where they say they got a confession from Davis but he appealed the restitution order. The state Supreme Court upheld the amount which included $20K for the deer itself and $54K for the cost it took to investigate the case.