3rd Man Sentenced for Drunken Rampage in Death Valley National Park That Harmed Extremely Rare, Endangered Fish

A Nevada felon who trespassed in an area of Death Valley National Park, firing gunshots and stomping on eggs laid by the one of rarest fishes in the world was sentenced to prison on Thursday, the National Park Service said.

A federal judge sentenced Trenton Sargent, 28, of Indian Springs, Nevada, to 12 months and one day in prison, officials said.

The National Park Service posted this photo on May 6 showing three men suspected of vandalism at Death Valley National Park on April 30.

The National Park Service posted this photo on May 6 showing three men suspected of vandalism at Death Valley National Park on April 30.

Sargent, along with Steven Schwinkendorf, 31, and Edgar Reyes, 37, went on a drunken rampage at Devils Hole, a detached unit of the national park, on April 30, 2016, according to a news release. Though most of the sprawling park is in California, Devils Hole is across state lines in Amargosa Valley, Nevada.

The 2016 incident involved the three men firing gunshots, vomiting and skinny-dipping at Devils Hole.

Video surveillance footage shows the three men driving up to the gate and trespassing onto the site.

It also shows Sargent swimming, kicking his feet around the habitat of the endangered pupfish, the last place in the world these fish call home.

The fish – only 115 of which existed in the wild before the 2016 rampage – is an endangered species under federal and Nevada state law.

A pupfish was found dead after the incident. While it is not for certain Sargent killed this fish, officials said he smashed pupfish eggs and larvae on a shallow shelf during the pupfish spawning season.

A sign bearing a photo of the rare Pupfish is posted near the heavily protected entrance on May 14, 2007 at Devils Hole, Nevada. (Credit: Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

A sign bearing a photo of the rare Pupfish is posted near the heavily protected entrance on May 14, 2007 at Devils Hole, Nevada. (Credit: Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

The National Park Foundation said at one point only 35 of the inch-long blue fish were alive.

Sargent pleaded guilty in July for harming the endangered pupfish, as well as firing a shotgun at the site’s padlocked gate, and destroying surveillance camera equipment.

Officials said he was convicted of one count for violating the Endangered Species Act, one count of destruction of U.S. property and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Sargent will also serve three years of probation after he is released.

The other two men, Schwinkendorf and Reyes, previously pleaded guilty and are serving one year of probation.

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