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ID Poaching Case

westbranch

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Sep 11, 2017
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ID Panhandle
Just saw this: https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/st-mar...ds-fines-and-decade-long-hunting-ban-poaching

Based on some searching it looks like this guy was involved in a moose poaching case back to 1992 and illegal trapping in 2015. Looks like this guy was heavily involved in wolf trapping, odd that he wasn't charged with unlawful possession of firearms in 2015. Good to see the fines, but they should have been higher. And it seems like there should be more jail time.

Following nearly 23 years of complaints from concerned sportsmen about Coward's illegal hunting, and a three-year focused investigation, Idaho Fish and Game investigators were able to collect the necessary physical evidence demonstrating that Coward was illegally using bait to attract and hunt big game and providing outfitting and guiding services without a license.

In addition to wildlife crimes, Coward, who was prohibited from possessing firearms due to previous felony convictions, was also found to be in the unlawful possession of numerous firearms. Investigators said that Coward admitted he knew what he was doing was illegal, but chose to continue to bait, hunt unlawfully, and disregard the licensing requirement for outfitting and guiding.

On December 14, the 55-year-old Coward was brought before First District Judge Scott Wayman in Shoshone County, where he pled guilty to multiple charges including providing outfitting and guiding services without a license, conspiracy to illegally provide such services, unlawfully hunting over bait, being in possession of wildlife taken unlawfully, and being in unlawful possession of firearms.

As part of the pretrial settlement offer extended by the state, the parties agreed to proceed directly to sentencing on the matter. After over an hour of argument where both sides presented evidence and testimony, the court ultimately sided with the arguments made by local county prosecutor Benjamin Allen. The judge ordered that Coward’s hunting privileges be revoked for 10 years in Idaho (as well as the other 48 member states of the Wildlife Violator Compact), and handed down a 5 year suspended prison sentence, requiring Coward to serve 90 days in the county jail. The jail time will be served in 30 day increments during September 2022, 2023 and 2024 in order to prohibit him from being in the field during the archery elk season when many of his violations took place.

As a financial repercussion, Coward was ordered to pay a total of $16,000 in fines, restitution and court costs including a $10,000 civil penalty for the unlawfully possessed mountain goat.
 
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