Nicholaus J. Rodgers pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of
conspiring to violate the Lacey Act. Christopher W. Loncarich was
scheduled to be in court on Wednesday, but his plea hearing was
rescheduled for August 15.
The Lacey Act is a federal law
that makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell in interstate
commerce any wildlife that has been taken or possessed in violation
of state laws or regulations.
In January, officials with the
Justice Department filed a 17-count indictment against Loncarich and
Rodgers based on the pair's practice of illegally capturing and
maiming mountain lions and bobcats as part of a scheme to make
hunting the cats easier for their clients between 2007-2010.
In order to keep the cats in the correct areas, Mr. Loncarich and
other guides would allegedly shoot them in the paw or legs, or even
attach leghold traps to them.
To date, four assistant guides
have pleaded guilty to offenses arising from the conspiracy.
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