Environment

Fawn was for sale on Facebook. The deer wasn’t real — but it was a crime, SC cops say

This screen grab shows a scam on social media that led to an arrest by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
This screen grab shows a scam on social media that led to an arrest by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Facebook Screen grab

Someone was trying to sell a deer on Facebook.

That’s what numerous people told the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources a week ago, according to an incident report.

The complaints were accurate, as a fawn was offered for sale according to a post, the SC DNR shared on its Facebook page.

But an investigation uncovered that there really was no deer for sale, and the man who made the offer has been charged with a crime, according to the incident report.

During the investigation, SC DNR agents used “a covert account” to contact Shaunquese Nathan “Shaun” Scott — the man who was trying to sell the white-tailed deer, the incident report states.

According to the report, the undercover agents offered to buy the fawn that Scott had advertised on Facebook as “very kid friendly and lovessss to eat anything sweet.” For a price ranging from $100 to $150, Scott said he would sell the deer along with “formula, a bottle, (leash) and collar,” agents said in the incident report.

But when the investigators tried to set up a meeting to buy the deer, the 20-year-old Columbia resident refused, instead insisting he be sent money on a “cash app,” according to the incident report.

An SC DNR officer then contacted Scott at his Richland County residence on Dec. 16, and Scott admitted he did not have a deer, but was the person who tried to sell the fawn on Facebook, the incident report stated.

Scott told the officer the attempt to sell the nonexistent deer was a “good joke,” and not a scam for money as DNR investigators “believed,” according to the incident report.

Although Scott described his actions as “funny,” they were actually a violation of South Carolina law and he was charged with “offering to sell protected native wildlife,” SC DNR said in the incident report.

If convicted, Scott could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine, according to Justia US Law.

SC DNR asks anyone with information about game, fish or boating violations to contact it at 800-922-5431.

A family from Beaufort, S.C., was out on a fishing trip when a fawn swam up to their boat. The family said they returned the deer to its mom, which was watching from the shore.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.


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