Outfitter Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison For Lacey Act and Bankruptcy Crimes
POCATELLO - Sidney R. Davis, 46, of Soda Springs, Idaho, was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for violating the Lacey Act by operating an unlicensed outfitting and guiding business and making a false declaration in a bankruptcy proceeding. Upon his release from prison, Davis must serve three years of supervised release during which he is prohibited from hunting or fishing, accompanying others hunting or fishing, or providing services related to hunting or fishing, anywhere in the world.
Idaho law requires that outfitters and guides maintain a valid license issued by the Idaho Outfitter's and Guide's Licensing Board (IOGLB). Davis, who has owned and operated the Trail Creek Lodge near Soda Springs, Idaho, since approximately 1993, was once licensed as an outfitter and a guide. On July 26, 1996, the IOGLB revoked Davis' licenses after he admitted violating Idaho outfitting and guiding regulations. On November 19, 1998, Davis was convicted of two Lacey Act violations based on his role in illegal hunts at the Trail Creek Lodge.
On May 26, 2011, Davis pled guilty to the charges in United States District Court in Pocatello. According to the plea agreement, Davis admitted to guiding or outfitting a mule deer hunt between October 11-16, 2008, at the Trail Creek Lodge near Soda Springs. The hunters traveled from Nevada for the hunt on the understanding that they would receive outfitting and guiding services. Over the course of five days, both Davis and his employee, Jeffrey J. Dickman, guided the hunters into the field at various locations on both private and public land. During the hunt, one of the hunters killed a mule deer while being guided by Dickman. After the deer was killed, Davis and Dickman arranged to have the meat from that deer transported to the hunters in Nevada. Davis outfitted and guided the hunters, and instructed Dickman to guide the hunters, even though Davis knew that neither he nor Dickman possessed a valid Idaho license to perform these tasks. Dickman pleaded guilty for his role in the offense.
According to the plea agreement, Davis also admitted that he falsely omitted certain material information from documents in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case that he filed on October 14, 2005. Specifically, Davis admitted that he omitted certain creditors who had claims against him on the date he filed bankruptcy; that he transferred 21 acres of real property within a year of filing for bankruptcy; and that he served as an officer, director and managing executive of Trail Creek Lodge, Inc., within six years of filing for bankruptcy. Davis formed and has served as president of Trail Creek Lodge, Inc., since August 30, 2000.
“Protecting our natural resources and ensuring that hunters and guides follow fish and wildlife laws is vital to all Idahoans,” said Olson. “Mr. Davis repeatedly showed disrespect for the law and for judicial processes. Today's sentence sends a strong message that flouting the law results in federal prison time. I commend the cooperative work of investigators and prosecutors with fish and wildlife and bankruptcy fraud expertise in bringing Mr. Davis to justice.”
“One of our top law enforcement priorities is putting a stop to illegal commercial operators who by their unlawful actions infringe upon those hunters who comply with wildlife protection laws,” said Paul Chang, Special Agent in Charge of Law Enforcement for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Region. “Our state law enforcement partners are essential to accomplishing this priority.”
The case was investigated by agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The case was prosecuted by the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, and the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Idaho.
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