Evergreen Man Pleads Guilty And Is Sentenced For Violation Of Endangered Species Act

wesheltonj

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https://www.justice.gov/usao-co/pr/...nced-violation-endangered-species-act-related

U.S. Attorneys » District of Colorado » News
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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

EVERGREEN MAN PLEADS GUILTY AND IS SENTENCED FOR VIOLATION OF ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT RELATED TO AFRICAN ELEPHANT HUNT
Defendant Killed an African Elephant inside Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park and then Made Efforts to Export it to South Africa
DENVER – Paul Ross Jackson, age 63, of Evergreen, Colorado, pleaded guilty on April 24, 2018, to violating the Endangered Species Act announced U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement (FWS-OLE) Special Agent in Charge Steve Oberholtzer. The defendant was also immediately sentenced to pay the maximum fine of $25,000 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak.

According to court documents, including the stipulated facts contained in the defendant’s plea agreement, the defendant violated Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wild Life Act when he shot and killed an African Elephant inside Gonarezhou National Park in the spring of 2015. The defendant, working with a South-Africa based professional hunter, a New-York based export facilitator, and several Zimbabwe-based hunting businesses, gave instructions to have the elephant exported to South Africa, where he hoped to sell in foreign commerce 26 and 27 kilogram ivory tusks. When the government of Zimbabwe initially blocked the defendant’s effort to export the elephant to South Africa, on the ground that the defendant lived in Colorado and not South Africa, the defendant worked with others to try to obtain documentation that he was a resident of South Africa.

In a plea agreement, the defendant agreed to a four-year worldwide hunting ban that prohibits the hunting of any species designated as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The defendant also agreed to work with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to return the ill-gotten ivory to the government of Zimbabwe.

“When American hunters violate the laws of foreign countries in the unethical pursuit of trophies, they don’t just undermine the conservation efforts that make hunting possible. They break the law,” said U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. “Our prosecutors, working closely with Fish and Wildlife agents stationed around the globe, are committed to holding poachers accountable so that elephants and other threatened and endangered species can be appreciated by future generations.”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to protecting imperiled species around the globe from poaching and trafficking,” said Steve Oberholzer, the Special Agent in Charge of the Mountain-Prairie Region. “When a U.S. citizen unlawfully kills a protected species in another country or attempts to smuggle wildlife products, we work with that nation under our federal statutory authorities to investigate the incident and bring that person to justice. These cooperative law enforcement efforts strengthen and protect America’s borders while ensuring the conservation of cherished wildlife species."

The case was investigated by FWS-OLE.

The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bryan D. Fields and Suneeta Hazra.

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Pheroze

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When American hunters violate the laws of foreign countries in the unethical pursuit of trophies, they don’t just undermine the conservation efforts that make hunting possible. They break the law,” s

That is actually a very well informed and welcome comment!
 

flatwater bill

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This brief account of the crime and punishment leaves a lot of questions. Was the elephant illegally shot (ie poached) in GNP? I mean, I dont know, perhaps there is some legal hunting conducted in the park. It can be legal to hunt in Grand Teton National Park under some circumstances, for example. I'm sure a lot of members here know the answer. Or was he prosecuted because he pretended to be a South African? If I kill an elephant legally, and decide I want to sell the tusks in RSA, is that legal? I guess I have seen too many abuses by the USFWS not to be suspicious. There is a strong anti-hunting undercurrent in the entire organization. And a "world wide hunting ban"? I wonder what authority the USFWS has in, say, Kazakhstan.......I would like to hear both sides of this one....................Flatwater Bill
 

wesheltonj

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From reading the article I see two violations (1) shooting the elephant and (2) trying to import the ivory to RSA.

The USA-DOJ can prosecute you for an illegal or unlawful act committed in another country if illegal or unlawful in the USA.

Will be interesting to see what will happen the the NY based company.
 
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flatwater bill

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Thanks Wstj..............I was not sure that shooting of the elephant was illegal, based on the report. But I know nothing of GNP or the circumstances. I can cite examples of the USFWS convicting and sentencing hunters without trial, and without crime. So I am naturally curious when I see articles concerning them. I imported a sable into RSA. Have no idea whether it was legal....trusted the PH, the expediter and the importer to know the laws. I have seen the USFWS suspect a crime, confiscate all a hunters trophies, literally throw them in trailers so that they were damaged or ruined, only to have the sportsman vindicated. All trophies were eventually returned except one (lost) and most others ruined. Hence my suspicion. Thanks for the clarification....................FWB
 

Pheroze

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I read the prosecutor's quote as a defence of legal trophy hunts, so I assumed it was not a legal hunt. But, in rereading it maybe they were just prosecuting the attempt to bring it over the boarder illegally?
 

CAustin

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Thanks for sharing.
 

flatwater bill

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Dinsdale...........happily........................Jay S., a well known hunter and taxidermist from Idaho. More than 120 trophies in his collection. His client, Monte D., shot a brown bear in Russia. All legal to the best of hunters knowledge. Imported legally. Appropriate documentation presented at taxidermy shop. Trophy mount completed, but confiscated prior to Monte picking it up in shop. USFWS, as noted earlier, arrived without notice, throwing said bear along with many of the taxidermist's mounts into trailers. Taxidermist cleared of all wrong doing. His trophies returned. Damaged to the tune of about $50K. No crime, no conviction, but punishment served. Whether or not the hunter was legal is tangential to this thread, but no explanation ever provided. No court case........the taxidermist was innocent and yet damaged severely. This is a common de-facto punishment meted out by the USFWS. Both of the men involved in the above incident are now dead. Jay would have been happy to have his story told. I knew these men well, hunted with them many times...have chronicled 6 similar fiascos over the years. PM me if you want names/dates.....................................good hunting...............................FWB
 

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