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The Nation

Federal and state wildlife officials denied charges that they used heavy-handed tactics in conducting a major poaching sting in southern Colorado and New Mexico. About 275 state and federal wildlife officers from nine agencies arrested 57 people in dawn raids Monday in the San Luis Valley area in Colorado and the Taos area of New Mexico, U.S. Atty. Michael Norton said. More than 100 others were cited for misdemeanor violations. The arrests culminated a 2 1/2-year undercover investigation into 850 alleged violations involving the illegal hunting of more than 96 big-game animals--such as elk, deer and bears--and 25 bald and golden eagles, Norton said. Officials denied reports that agents kicked open a door and that roads into the area had been blocked off.


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