CALVERTON - Officials say four young men are facing fines for capturing two deer fawns and then posting the incident on Instagram.
According to police, the men are facing up to $1,700 in fines after New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officers discovered the evidence.
Police say on Oct. 31, 2013, officers were provided with two images captured from Instagram by an anonymous person. According to officials, the pictures depicted young men posing with a live yearling whitetail deer.
Officials later identified the man holding the stressed deer as George Salzmann, 18, of Calverton. Once approached, Salzmann eventually admitted he captured two deer.
“I was helping it,” Salzmann told News 12. “[The authorities] made a bigger deal than what it was.”
Salzmann's friends, Conor Lingerfelt, 19, of Jamesport, Joseph Sacchitello, 20, of Riverhead, and Anthony Infantolino, 20, of Wading River, were all involved with the illegal capture of the second deer.
Lt. Frank Carbone, of the State Department of Environmental Wildlife says DEC officers recognized the young men at a Calverton deli the day after the incident. After extensive questioning, Carbone says the suspects admitted capturing the animals.
“They say they captured one deer stuck in a fence and instead of releasing it, they took it home and released it from their house in Wading River,” says Carbone.
He says the four captured the second deer along a fence at Hulse Landing Road by cornering it with their car.
Tickets were issued for the illegal take and pursuit of protected wildlife. All tickets are violations that carry a potential fine of up to $250 each.
Salzmann says he's going to fight the charges in court.
The men will appear in court on Nov. 27. The deer were unharmed.
For video of men with captured deer, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.