Saturday, September 23, 2023
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Maiming of Big Cats Lands Man in Prison

DENVER (CN) - A federal judge imposed a 27-month prison sentence against a Colorado man who helped organize illegal hunts of mountain lions and bobcats.

Christopher Loncarich, 55, of Mack, previously pleaded guilty to the indictment accusing him of organizing such hunts in Colorado and Utah from 2007 to 2010.

"In particular, Loncarich and his confederates trapped, shot and caged mountain lions and bobcats prior to hunts in order to provide easier chases of the cats for clients," the Justice Department said in a statement on the Thursday sentencing.

Many of the hunters whom Loncarich and his assistants guided did not have licenses for Utah mountain lions or bobcats, according to the plea.

The government said Loncarich's base of operations in Mack is 5 miles from the Utah-Colorado border. Hunters paid Loncarich between $3,500 and $7,500 to hunt mountain lions, while the cost of bobcat hunts ranged between $700 and $1,500.

Loncarich's lead assistant guide, Nicholaus Rodgers, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act this past July.

The government notes that it has obtained guilty pleas under the Lacey Act from four of Loncarich's assistant guides.

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