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ND - Prosecutors reach agreement in hunting violation case

Prosecutors reach agreement in hunting violation case

Associated Press
Published Sunday, June 08, 2008

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - State and federal prosecutors have reached separate plea agreements in the case of a Streeter, N.D., couple and outfitting business facing hunting-related charges centering on the lack of a proper license.

In state court, Coteau Prairie Waterfowl, Whitetail, and Upland Bird Hunts of Streeter ND Inc. is to pay about $30,000 in restitution to 17 groups of clients, said Troy LeFevre, Stutsman County assistant state's attorney.

In the federal plea deal, the government recommends that the corporation be given 18 months probation and pay restitution of $5,000. Owner Brenda Schlecht also could not apply for a guiding or outfitting license in the future, though she would not face charges in the case as an individual.

The federal government also would not bring charges against Sheldon Schlecht, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Hayden.

"I had no solid, substantiating evidence that Sheldon Schlecht was actively involved in guiding or actively committing wildlife violations," Hayden said. The state case against Sheldon Schlecht is pending. LeFevre said he is awaiting a trial date.

Two former guides at Coteau Prairie also have been sentenced after making plea deals in separate federal cases. Josh Yonke and Dwight Dockter were given probation, ordered to pay fines and will lose their hunting privileges in North America for a time.

Some Coteau Prairie clients also were issued tickets, some involving Lacey Act violations, Hayden said. The Lacey Act prohibits transporting illegally taken game across state lines.  

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