Teen, man face federal charges after deputies find 3 Key deer inside car

Federal prosecutors accuse teen, man of Endangered Species Act violations


MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – A teen from Miami-Dade and a man from Broward were facing federal charges for capturing, harassing and harming three Key deer in Monroe County, according to federal prosecutors. 

When The National Key Deer Refuge was established in 1957 in 20 to 25 islands in the lower Florida Keys, there were only a few dozen. Their population started to grow after authorities listed the deer as an endangered species about five decades ago. 

Erik Yosmany Damas Acosta, 18, told Monroe County deputies that he didn't know the deer were protected when he and Tumani Anthony Younge, 23, lured three of them with food, restrained them and put them in the car in a plan to take pictures with them. 

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission deputies found an adult male Key deer, a juvenile male Key deer and a female Key deer inside a small car. Two were in the back seat of the car and another was in the trunk. 

FWC spokesman Bobby Dube said one of the Key Deer had to be euthanized. 

Deputies arrested Damas Acosta of Miami Gardens and Younge of Tamarac. They were each facing three counts of violations of the Endangered Species Act, which carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison. 


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