2 Men Arrested on Suspicion of Night Hunting on Road Near Oprah Winfrey's Hawaii Ranch

Authorities in Maui arrested two men suspected of illegal night hunting near Oprah Winfrey’s Hawaiian property

Published Time: 02.07.2024 - 08:31:09 Modified Time: 02.07.2024 - 08:31:09

Authorities in Maui arrested two men suspected of illegal night hunting near Oprah Winfrey’s Hawaiian property.

The incident occurred just before midnight on June 21, the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) said in a press release on Monday, July 1.

“Last month, DLNR reached out to local ranchers regarding their efforts to prevent illegal poaching throughout the area and we agreed to cooperate. The arrests did not happen on the property,” a spokesperson for Winfrey's Harpo tells PEOPLE.

"This happened near the intersection of Thompson Road and Kamaʻole Road, in the Kula area of Upcountry Maui,” the press release read. “Thompson Road is a public road that runs through private property owned by the Oprah Winfrey Ranch.”

The suspects - Luke Allen and Ty Munoz, both 19, of Upcountry Maui - were placed in custody at the Maui Police station in Wailuku after officials observed them allegedly using a spotlight for hunting purposes.

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A preliminary investigation resulted in a loaded shotgun and a loaded rifle being allegedly found in Allen and Munoz’s truck. Upon further investigation, authorities discovered that they were allegedly “hunting without valid licenses, had ammunition in the vehicle and were allegedly hunting on private land, at night, without permission.”

Officers said the rifle in Allen’s possession was unregistered. The -

state Department of Land and Natural Resources did not specify what animals were allegedly being hunted. 

Munoz was arrested and booked for: Place to keep loaded firearm other than pistol, Hunting License Required, Hunting on private lands at night without permission, and Artificial Light Prohibited (for hunting with the use of artificial light). 

Allen received the same charges, with the addition of Place to Keep Ammunition and Registration Mandatory (for unregistered .22cal semi-automatic rifle).

The suspects were booked at Maui Police Station in Wailuku, and the case was deferred to the Maui County Prosecutors Office, per the press release.

In August 2023, the former talk show host, 70, helped other residents who were affected by the Hawaii wildfires.

“It’s a little overwhelming, you know,” Winfrey told the BBC while handing out supplies at the War Memorial Stadium, one of the evacuation sites in Maui. “But I’m really so pleased to have so many people, you know, supporting, and people are just bringing what they can and doing what they can.”

A spokesperson for Winfrey later shared with PEOPLE that the media mogul “went to Walmart and Costco to shop for the items and brought them back.”

“It is heart-breaking devastation. She will do more, as it becomes clear which funds can be the most helpful for the short-term and long-term rebuilding."

That same month, she and Dwayne Johnson announced the launch of the People's Fund of Maui — with an initial $10 million donation from both of them.

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