CASPER -Two men have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced in U.S. District Court in Casper following their conviction for taking part in the illegal killing of a bull elk near Ten Sleep in October 2006. A concerned citizen's tip about trophy elk being illegally taken led to the convictions.
James M. Dovenberg, 68, of West Linn, Ore., was fined $12,000 for aiding and abetting in the trafficking of illegal wildlife on Dec. 20. In addition, he was placed on three years probation and received a two-year suspension of worldwide hunting privileges.
Jon R. Gleason, 70, of Custer, Wash., also pleaded guilty to trafficking of illegal wildlife. On Dec. 20 he received $8,500 in fines and restitution, three years probation, and two years of hunting license revocations. He was also ordered to forfeit the bull elk mount to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
These sentences were handed down following the July 2011 felony sentencing and $20,000 fines of James S. Robinson, of West Linn, Ore., for Lacey Act violations involving a different elk. The Lacey Act violation comes into play when any illegally taken elk parts are transported across state lines.
The case started when the Game and Fish's Investigative Unit received a tip in January 2010. Unit members traveled to Oregon in February and June of 2010, and were assisted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon State Police with the investigation.
The federal charges were filed against Robinson, a real estate developer, Sept. 23, 2010, in federal court in Casper. Robinson pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act on March 4, 2011, pursuant to a plea agreement negotiated with his attorneys.
The Lacey Act carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in federal prison, $250,000 in fines, and three years of supervised probation following imprisonment. The Lacey Act also has provisions for the payment of restitution and forfeiture of any wildlife and any vehicles or equipment used in the crime.
The penalties imposed on Dovenberg and Gleason were for their participation in the commission of the crime. Robinson also forfeited a head and shoulder mount of the elk to the Game and Fish. The 6-by-7-point antlers scored around 350 points on the Boone and Crockett scale.
Mike Ehlebracht, who is the Investigative Unit supervisor, said "Law enforcement and the court systems take these wildlife violations very, very seriously. It is important to protect this hunting privilege so every hunter has an equal opportunity to draw these cherished licenses."
(Contact: Mike Ehlebracht (307) 473-3410)