/ One of two mainland South Florida men accused of hog-tying three endangered Key deer in the Lower Keys last month pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court Friday in Key West.

Erik Damas Acosta, 18, wearing a gray polo shirt and dark gray dress pants, looked nervous prior to his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana.

Wearing a headset and speaking through a translator because he’s a Spanish speaker, Damas Acosta, from Miami Gardens, agreed to a $20,000 personal surety bond and was released to his family after entering his plea to three counts of violating the federal Endangered Species Act for knowingly and unlawfully taking the protected Key deer. There are only about 875 deer in the herd and they are found only in the Lower Keys.

Damas Acosta


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