Hunting guide accused of trapping animals for clients to hunt

Jan. 9, 2014 at 3:04 PM

BOULDER, Colo., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A Colorado hunting guide and his assistant are facing charges for allegedly capturing bobcats and mountain lions for their clients to hunt, prosecutors said.

On Tuesday, Christopher W. Loncarich, 55, of Mack, Colo., and Nicholaus J. Rodgers, 30, of Medford, Ore., were charged with conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, interstate felony transportation and sale of unlawfully taken wildlife, and felony creation of false records for wildlife sold in interstate commerce, the Courthouse News Service reported.

The alleged crimes took place 2007 to 2010.

The U.S. Attorney's Office released a statement saying the suspects "would trap the cats in cages prior to hunts and release the cats when the client was nearby."

Loncarich, a big-game hunting guide and outfitter, mostly operated in western Colorado, near the Utah border.

"In order to keep the cats in the areas of potential hunts Mr. Loncarich, Mr. Rodgers and other guides would sometimes shoot the cats in the paws or legs or attach leghold traps to them," the statement said. "Many of the clients Mr. Loncarich and Mr. Rodgers guided did not have proper tags or licenses to take mountain lions or bobcats in Utah."

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