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HOME >> NEWS >> APRIL NEWS RELEASES >> APRIL 23
Several Guilty in Ten Sleep Felony Poaching Case

04/23/2012

CASPER - A Wyoming landowner and several hunters from Oregon and other states pleaded guilty to felony convictions for illegal trafficking in wildlife in U.S. District Court on March 21.

The hunters were unlawfully hunting trophy class elk on the Carter Ranch, located in Ten Sleep between 2003 and 2009. The ranch owners, Richard Carter, Sr., RC Carter, and Mark Carter, also pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to traffic in illegal wildlife. Richard Carter, 61, was convicted of conspiracy to traffic in illegal wildlife. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4 and faces up to 5 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. His two sons, RC Carter, 34, of Ten Sleep, and Mark Carter, 31, of Jackson, pleaded guilty to felonies involving trafficking in illegal wildlife and falsifying wildlife records. Both are scheduled to be sentenced on June 4 and both face up to 15 years of imprisonment and a fine of $750,000.

Mathew S. Robinson, 29, of Bend, Ore., was found guilty of two felony charges of trafficking in illegal wildlife. Robinson had been charged federally and after a six-day jury trial, was found guilty of conspiring to traffic in illegal wildlife and trafficking in illegal wildlife and aiding and abetting. Robinson was accused of conspiring to hunt elk in Wyoming between 2005 and 2008, assisting others in hunting elk, and of illegally killing a bull elk in 2008 without a proper license. He faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000. Robinson is to be sentenced on June 13 before Judge Nancy Freudenthal in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne.

Robinson's father, James S. Robinson, 61, of West Linn, Ore., previously pleaded guilty to a felony on March 4, 2011, for trafficking in illegal wildlife. James was accused of killing a 7x8 bull elk without a proper license in 2005. He was ordered to pay restitution of $15,000 for the elk, a fine of $20,000, and ordered to complete community service as part of a probationary sentence.

Another hunter, Steve Ned Farah, 48, of West Linn, Ore., pleaded guilty on March 21, 2012, to two felonies involving conspiracy and trafficking in illegal wildlife. Farah was accused of unlawfully killing a 6x6 bull elk in 2007 and another in 2008. Farah is scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. on June 4 and faces up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000.

Four other Oregon hunters were charged with federal misdemeanor offenses involving the unlawful taking and transportation of wildlife. Jon R. Gleason, 68, of Custer, Wash., previously pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing a 6x6 bull elk in 2006 and was ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution, a $1,000 fine, and is further prohibited from hunting for two years. Joseph Karas, 60, of Portland, Ore., pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing a 6x6 elk in 2006. Karas was ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution, to perform community service, and is prohibited from hunting for two years. John Woodmark, 63, of Depoe Bay, Ore., pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing a 6x7 bull elk in 2007 and was ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution, perform community service, and is prohibited from hunting for two years. James Dovenberg, 68, of West Linn, Ore., pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting another in the killing of a 6x6 bull elk in 2006 without a proper license. Dovenberg was ordered to pay a fine of $12,000 and is prohibited from hunting for two years.

Several other hunters were prosecuted in Washakie County Circuit Court in relation to the case. Gerald Jay Robinson, 72, of Wilsonville, Ore., pleaded guilty of taking an antlerless elk in 2004 without a license. He was ordered to pay $3,000 restitution and a $750 fine. William Hayward Batts, 56, of Hyattville, Wyo. pleaded no contest to unlawfully transferring a hunting license and making a false statement on a Wyoming interstate game tag. He was fined $370 for each of the two counts and had his Wyoming hunting privileges suspended for 3 years. Robert Till, 53, of Columbia, Tenn., pleaded guilty to taking an antelope in 2003 without a license and ordered to pay $3,000 restitution and a fine of $750, and had his Wyoming hunting privileges suspended for 3 years. William Patrick Mercer, 65, of Arcadia, Fla., also pleaded guilty to taking an antelope in 2003 without a license and ordered to pay $3,000 restitution and a fine of $5,000.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department Investigative Unit Supervisor Mike Ehlebracht said, “This is a significant case for the wildlife resource, our department, and for the sportsmen of Wyoming. We take these kinds of violations very seriously and we encourage the public to report violations through our Stop Poaching hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP.”

The case was jointly investigated by the Wyoming Game and Fish, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Oregon State Patrol. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Washakie County Attorney’s Office.
(Contact: Robin Kepple (307) 473-3400)

-WGFD-

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