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Wyoming jury finds Oregon hunter guilty of wildlife violations

April 4, 2012

By7 Tom Morton, TribNews.com

A federal jury on Wednesday found an Oregon hunter guilty of conspiracy and trafficking in wildlife between 2005 and 2008 in violation of the Lacey Act of 1900, which prohibits the interstate transportation of animals taken in violation of state laws.
 
Matthew S. Robinson, the fifth and final defendant in the illegal hunting case, hung his head and looked stunned when the court clerk announced the two guilty verdicts. The eight-man, four-woman jury deliberated about eight hours over two days before reaching its verdicts.

Robinson could face penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment, up to $500,000 in fines and up to three years of supervised release, according to the government’s indictment.

Robinson was the fifth and last defendant in the illegal wildlife case in which four other defendants, including three from a Ten Sleep family, entered plea agreements two weeks ago. These defendants were Steven Farah of West Linn, Ore.; and Big Horn Adventure Outfitters owner Richard “R.C.” Carter; his father, Richard Carter Sr.; and his younger brother, Mark Carter.
 
In a separate case, Robinson’s father, James Robinson, pleaded guilty last year to one count of trafficking in illegal wildlife and was sentenced to three years’ probation, ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution and a $20,000 fine.
 
The Carters pleaded guilty to taking more than a dozen paying hunters onto their land from 2003 to 2009, allowing them to kill elk, deer and antelope; using their own landowner tags on the animals shot; falsely claiming in affidavits they killed them; and then helping the hunters to transport the animals to the hunters’ homes in Oregon, according to court records.

The Game and Fish Department cited Robinson for an illegal kill in 2005, and the defendant was upset that he didn’t know he had broken the law, Weaver said.

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