December 19, 2005
A Blue River hunting guide who led groups of out-of-state hunters on
illegal hunts in Richland and Iowa counties pleaded guilty Monday to
federal charges against him.
Adam L. Lawinger, 28, of Mineral Point, who owned Blue River
Outfitters in southern Richland County, pleaded guilty to conspiring
with others to sell illegally hunted deer and turkey and to selling
illegally hunted wildlife across state lines.
Lawinger faces up to five years in prison on each charge, but
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim O'Shea said that under a plea agreement, he
will ask U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb for a reduction in his
sentence for making a full statement to investigators about his actions
and those of others.
Lawinger is also likely to get a sentencing break for admitting
responsibility for what he has done. Crabb will sentence Lawinger on
Along with Lawinger, three out-of- state hunters have been charged in
federal court with transporting illegally hunted deer across state
lines. An additional 42 hunters have been charged in Richland and Iowa
counties with various hunting infractions.
Lawinger was charged in federal court last month after an extensive
investigation in which state and federal investigators went undercover
to observe the way Lawinger and a partner did business.
The other man has not been charged. O'Shea declined Monday to say
whether he would be.
O'Shea told Crabb that the agents would have testified during a trial
against Lawinger that they were with Lawinger during illegal hunts.
Among the violations they witnessed, O'Shea said, were turkeys that were
shot with an illegal weapon and improperly tagged and deer that were
shot by California hunters who had no deer hunting licenses.
The agents also saw deer shot after they were baited with corn and
others that were shot at night using a spotlight, O'Shea said. Some were
shot out of season, he said.
Lawinger later mailed antlers from two bucks shot by the California
hunters. They were recovered during a search by wildlife officials of
one of the hunters' homes, O'Shea said.