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Man pleads guilty to bobcat poaching, ordered to pay over $4k

Courtesy of the Division of Wildlife Resources

Man pleads guilty to bobcat poaching, ordered to pay over $4k

By Natalie Crofts | Posted - Oct. 2, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.


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SAN JUAN COUNTY — A man is facing over $4,000 in fines and restitution fees after pleading guilty to illegal trapping activities, officials said.

James Wheeler, of San Juan County, trapped bobcats without permits during the 2013-14 season, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. He pleaded guilty to one third degree felony count of Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife Tuesday, in addition to four class B misdemeanors.

DWR investigators said they were tipped off to Wheeler’s activities by a concerned citizen.

“In late January, a search warrant was executed on Wheeler's home. Officers located six illegally taken bobcats that had been prepared for auction,” the DWR wrote. “Wheeler was planning to sell the bobcats using another person's permits.”


Wheeler was planning to sell the bobcats using another person's permits.

–DWR


Wheeler was ordered by the Utah 7th District Court to pay $2,150 dollars in fines, plus restitution to the Help Stop Poaching Fund in the amount of $2,100. He has 36 months of probation and is required to complete 100 hours of community service.

He also faces a trapping license suspension for up to 38 years, according to the DWR.

Anyone with information about other wildlife offenses can contact the DWR by calling the tip line at 1-800-662-3337.

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Natalie Crofts

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