| For Immediate Release: July 6, 2006
“Cactus Killer” Reward Paid by Center for Biological Diversity
Tucson, Ariz. – Today the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity announced the payment of its $1,000 reward that helped capture the infamous “cactus killers.”
On October 13, 2005, Lincoln Lee Herget, Joshua Huffman and Christopher James Newman used an ax to cut down three large saguaros and a mature mesquite tree at Rillito River Park. The saguaros were at least 100 years old and 12 to 15 feet tall according to the Pima County Parks Department.
“We received dozens of calls and emails from Tucsonans. People were outraged and wanted the crimes to be solved,” said Michael Finkelstein, Executive Director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Offering the reward was part of a community-wide effort to unite and express our passion for the Sonoran Desert and its incredible plants and wildlife.”
The Center’s $1,000 reward was largely responsible for the capture of the trio.
“There is no doubt that the reward offered by the Center was critical in capturing and convicting these young men,” said Skip Woodward, the lead investigator for the Tucson Police Department on the case. “It was very satisfying to see the entire Tucson community come together on this case.”
On May 19, the three men pleaded guilty to criminal damage of between $250 and $2,000. Additionally, they must serve 60 days in jail and perform 300 hours of community service.