LAREDO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Four men have been sentenced to one year of probation and fined for a $12,000 sporting hunt in South Texas where a helicopter was used to kill exotic animals.

A federal judge in Laredo on Wednesday sentenced 36-year-old Cody Morganthaler of Oklahoma and three men from Laredo — 33-year-old Edelmiro Martinez, 39-year-old Eduardo Lopez and 56-year-old Inocente Sanchez.

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(Credit: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Texas)

Prosecutors say Martinez owned Laredo Hunting Resort, and Sanchez flew helicopters. Lopez helped organize the $12,000 hunt in 2017 in which Morganthaler killed four antelope and sheep, on the ground and from the air.

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All pleaded guilty to violating federal law that bans using aircraft to shoot animals for sport or trophy hunting.

“The circumstances in this particular case would make any sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts furious,” said Kevin Winters, Texas Game Warden. “The fact that these individuals organized a trophy hunt from a helicopter, which resulted in the harvesting of a trophy Aoudad (Barbary Sheep) and Blackbuck (Antelope), is unethical and is a violation of both state and federal laws. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens strive to protect our states natural resources.”

Morganthaler, Martinez, and Lopez must pay $5,000 fines. The pilot was fined $2,500.

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