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Two Men Admit Using Night-Vision Goggles, Tactical Gear to Kill Wild Donkeys in Mojave Desert

Two Men Admit to Killing Three Donkeys in Mojave Desert
Source: Unsplash

The men are set to be sentenced on July 8.

Mar. 23 2024, Published 1:02 p.m. ET

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Two men pleaded guilty recently to killing three wild donkeys on public land in the Mojave Desert in 2021, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.

On March 18, Christopher James Arnet, 32, of Loveland, Colorado, and Cameron John Feikema, 36, of Yorba Linda, California, each pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession of an unregistered firearm and one misdemeanor count of maliciously causing the death of a burro, or donkey, on public lands.

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Equipped with tactical gear including ballistic helmets with night-vision goggles, Arnet and Feikema drove Arnet's truck onto public land north of Yermo, in San Bernardino County, on Nov. 5, 2021, according to their plea agreements.

At around 1 a.m. on Nov. 6, the men fired at least 13 rounds, including at least five rounds from Arnet and at least four from Feikema, striking and killing three donkeys.

"One burro was shot near its spine towards its hind legs, which paralyzed the burro’s hind legs and caused the animal severe pain before it died," prosecutors said in a statement. "A bullet removed from that burro was fired from Arnet’s firearm."

The shooting was investigated by the Bureau of Land Management.

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Authorities searched the defendants' residences and seized the weapons used in the shooting. They each used unregistered short-barreled rifles, which are required to be registered under federal law.

Arnet and Feikema are scheduled to be sentenced on July 8. They each face up to 10 years in prison for the federal firearm count and up to one year in prison for the burro death count.

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As part of the plea agreements, they agreed to forfeit the unregistered rifles, over 4,000 rounds of ammunition, night vision goggles and other tactical gear.

TMX contributed to this report.

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