Skip to main content

"Facepoached" -- Internet bragging brings down Florida poaching ring

"Facepoached"  -- Internet bragging brings down Florida poaching ring
In this photo posted on Facebook, Darin Lee Waldo poses with two illegally taken whitetail deer.

Poachers have never been accused of being the sharpest knives in the drawer, and this most recent incident from Florida proves that in spades.

43-year-old Darin Lee Waldo of Davenport was arrested and charged with seven different felony charges and six misdemeanor charges after several facebook posts of his poaching crimes prompted Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) Internet Crimes Unit officials to launch an investigation that ultimately led to his arrest.

A convicted felon who cannot legally possess firearms, Waldo and other accomplices were accessing the Lake Marion Creek Wildlife Management area during closed seasons. The group hid small boats and guns in wooded areas and accessed the WMA by waterway to avoid apprehension.


The internet crimes unit went to work when Waldo's facebook images appeared.


"Our investigators were able to gain Waldo's confidence over the Internet," said Lt. George Wilson, supervisor of the FWC's Internet Crimes Unit.

The FWC Internet Crime team received images and details of Waldo's crimes via private messaging and chat rooms. Two undercover agents were even invited to participate in two illegal hunts by the accused.

"Waldo was also trespassing and poaching on private ranches before hunting season, stealing Florida's wildlife from landowners who were maintaining conservation programs," Wilson said.

His third-degree felony charges include four counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and three counts of armed trespass. His second-degree misdemeanor charges include two counts of attempting to take wild turkey during closed season and one count each of attempting to take deer during closed season, unlawful hunting on Lake Marion Creek WMA, unlawful possession of a firearm on Lake Marion Creek WMA and unlawful entry into Lake Marion Creek WMA.


Additional charges are pending on co-conspirators. Each third-degree felony charge is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and/or five years in prison. Second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to a $500 fine and/or 60 days in jail.

Florida's Internet Crimes unit has been very successful in tracking down poaching crimes and other wildlife violations. In its first year of operation, the unit has initiated 168 investigations, resulting in 177 arrests and 92 warnings.

"FWC investigators use the Internet to aggressively target criminals who are abusing Florida's natural resources," Wilson said.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton are above the Arctic Circle pursuing grizzly bears in Alaska and put a stalk on what they believe is a good one.

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Salty capers add a burst of flavor to the sauce, which pairs beautifully with the grilled venison loin in this recipe.Grilled Venison Loin with Caper-Mustard Sauce Recipe Recipes

Grilled Venison Loin with Caper-Mustard Sauce Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Salty capers add a burst of flavor to the sauce, which pairs beautifully with the grilled...

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these guns.Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense? Survival

Which Firearm Is Best for Bear Defense?

Larry Case - July 11, 2018

If you're spending time in the outdoors where you might encounter bears, carry one of these...

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been7 Favorite Truck Guns Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd.Best New Bowhunting Gear for 2020 Bowhunting

Best New Bowhunting Gear for 2020

Petersen's Hunting Editors - May 21, 2020

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd.

See More Trending Articles

More News

Will coronavirus really have an impact on upcoming hunting seasons?How Will Coronavirus Affect Outdoorsmen? News

How Will Coronavirus Affect Outdoorsmen?

Lynn Burkhead - March 10, 2020

Will coronavirus really have an impact on upcoming hunting seasons?

We've lost 2.2 million hunters since 2011. Here's how to help save hunting.
 Photo Credit: MattThe Hunter Decline and How We Can Fix It News

The Hunter Decline and How We Can Fix It

Andrew McKean - August 20, 2018

We've lost 2.2 million hunters since 2011. Here's how to help save hunting. Photo Credit: Matt

Several states have eliminated spring hunts, with more leaning toward additional closures.Hunting Seasons See Restrictions in Face of Spreading COVID-19 News

Hunting Seasons See Restrictions in Face of Spreading COVID-19

Rob Endsley

Several states have eliminated spring hunts, with more leaning toward additional closures.

Highlights included increased access, advanced conservation, and new employment.Great American Outdoors Act Closes in On Full Passage News

Great American Outdoors Act Closes in On Full Passage

Lynn Burkhead - June 11, 2020

Highlights included increased access, advanced conservation, and new employment.

See More News

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now