The U.S. Department of Justice says 37-year-old Jeffrey M. Bodnar and 46-year-old Veronica Anderson-Bodnar were both sentenced in the case for violating the Lacey Act.
The Lacey Act, which has been in place for more than 100 years, is a federal law that makes it a crime to transport or sell any wildlife taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of state law regulation. In Colorado, hunters must get a license to hunt bobcats during a specified season, and it's generally illegal to use leghold traps.
"Prosecutions under the Lacey Act are essential to protect wildlife from illegal trapping and trafficking of wildlife pelts," District of Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh stated in a news release.
Bodnar received a sentence of 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release during which time he won't be allowed to hunt, trap or fish. Back on June 1, Bodnar pleased guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, and one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
In his guilty plea, Bodnar admitted using illegal leghold traps, and then trying to sell bobcat pelts to fur traders in Montana and Kansas. He says he conspired with his wife, Anderson-Bodnar, to submit fake records to the Colorado Division of Wildlife to get tags for the pelts.
Anderson-Bodnar was sentenced to five years of probation. She was also barred from hunting, trapping and fishing, and the judge made it illegal for her to possess a firearm during that time. She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of Lacey Act trafficking and a misdemeanor count of making false statements in violation of the Lacey Act.
When pleading guilty, Anderson-Bodnar admitted to selling bobcat pelts to a Kansas buyer in March 2008, and to submitting false records to the DOW.
(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)