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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2005

Montrose couple convicted in hunting license fraud

 SPECIAL TO THE DAILY
Summit Daily News
July 4, 2005

A husband and wife in Montrose County recently pleaded guilty to defrauding the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) and will be required to pay more than $11,000 in fines. They also could lose hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 18 other states.

Robert M. Sunn, 30, and Amy Sunn, 29, both of Olathe, were found to have obtained elk-hunting licenses using false information. The convictions both resulted from an investigation that started after the DOW received an anonymous tip that Robert Sunn held two licenses for the 2003 deer-hunting season.

On June 13 in the 7th Judicial District court in Montrose, he pleaded guilty to one count of felony forgery of a government-issued document and 26 misdemeanors related to falsifying documents. Originally, he was charged with 21 felony and 26 misdemeaonr charges. Sunn was ordered to pay a $7,000 fine to the state and $3,000 to the Operation Game Thief program. The DOW also requested that he be imprisoned for at least 60 days. A sentencing hearing in August will determine if Sunn will be required to serve any jail time.

Sunn also has been assessed more than 200 suspension points by the DOW, which will be applied against his hunting and fishing privileges. Anyone who accumulates 20 points in a five-year period can lose their hunting privileges for a year or more. A hearing with the DOW regarding his hunting privileges hasn't been scheduled. Any suspension will automatically be applied in the 18 other states that participate in a special wildlife-crimes compact with Colorado.

Mrs. Sunn pleaded guilty on May 31 to hunting without a valid and proper license, a misdemeanor. She was fined $1,342 and was assessed 15 suspension points.

"Mr. Sunn developed some very sophisticated schemes that enabled them to purchase multiple licenses," said Bill de Vergie, area wildlife manager for the DOW in Montrose and lead investigator on the case. "We were able to catch them through the use of sophisticated database technology that allows us to cross-reference a variety of licensing data and public records."

...

"It's one of the most complicated cases of license fraud we've ever seen," de Vergie said. "And we couldn't have tracked this without a tip from the public."

People who have information concerning wildlife violations are asked to call Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648. Tips can be given anonymously and rewards are offered.

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