two delta men arrested on gun charges in connection to wildlife poaching
DENVER – Two Delta men were arrested this morning by federal agents and state and local law enforcement officers on gun charges, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and ATF Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey announced. Brandon C. Cook, age 30, and Jonathan M. Boyd, age 29, both of Delta, were arrested without incident. They were then taken to the U.S. District Courthouse in Grand Junction where they made their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher. During the court appearance both defendants were advised of their rights as well as the charges pending against them. Both Cook and Boyd were then released on bond. They are due back in U.S. District Court in Grand Junction on Monday, August 4, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
According to the indictment, obtained by a federal grand jury in Grand Junction on May 27, 2014, Boyd knowingly provided a Weatherby model Mark V, .270 caliber rifle to Cook, knowing and having reasonable cause to know that Cook had been convicted of a felony crime punishable by a term of imprisonment of a year or more. The indictment further alleges that Cook possessed the rifle in violation of federal law as he had a prior felony conviction.
Cook allegedly used the rifle purchased in this case for him by Boyd for poaching. Cook has been charged and has pled guilty in state court to the felony charge of willful destruction of wildlife on a trophy class bull elk.
“Felons who are prohibited from owning firearms sometimes put others up to purchasing guns illegally for them,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Make no mistake, serving as a gun buyer for a felon is a felony as well. The hard work of ATF and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, with the assistance of the community, has stopped this crime in its tracks, and, we expect, prevented future poaching as well.”
“We cannot underscore the tremendous assistance of the public in calling our attention to the sheer quantity of wildlife and firearms violations in the Delta, Montrose and Olathe communities,” said Renzo DelPiccolo, Montrose Area Wildlife Manager. “We greatly appreciate the ATF, U.S. Marshals and U.S. Attorney’s Office in pursing the federal firearms violations associated with this case.”
Cook faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Boyd faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine for unlawfully transferring a firearm to a known convicted felon.
This case was investigated by the State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Parks and Wildlife Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Cook was apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, with assistance from the FBI and U.S. Forest Service.
The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer of the U.S. Attorney’s Grand Junction branch office.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.