Naples Man Pleads Guilty to Lacey Act Violation
Admits Aiding and Abetting Unlawful Acquisition and Transportation of
Three Mountain Lions
COEUR D’ALENE – Jacob R. Navarro, 22, of Naples, Idaho, pleaded guilty yesterday in United States District Court to a superseding information charging him with one count of aiding and abetting the unlawful acquisition and transportation of a mountain lion, a misdemeanor, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Navarro was initially indicted by a federal grand jury in Coeur d’Alene on July 16, 2013.
According to the plea agreement, Navarro admitted that on January 19 and 20, 2012, he aided and abetted the unlawful hunting and transporting of three Pumas concolors, more commonly known as mountain lions. Navarro admitted that he allowed his Idaho tag to be put on a mountain lion taken by a hunter from North Dakota.
The charge is punishable by up to one year in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, and up to one year of supervised release, or a maximum term of five years’ probation. Navarro is set for sentencing on March 18, 2014, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.
In a related case, a federal grand jury in Coeur d’Alene yesterday returned a superseding indictment charging Jacob Navarro’s father, Tod S. Navarro, 49, of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and Christopher B. Wilson, 33, of Elgin, Oregon, with Lacey Act violations. The indictment alleges that on January 19 and 20, 2012, the two defendants acquired and transported three illegally tagged mountain lions from Idaho to North Dakota. The defendants were initially charged in two separate federal indictments in July 2013.
The federal grand jury yesterday also returned a separate indictment charging Tod Navarro with making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. The indictment alleges that on November 16, 2013, Navarro represented to a licensed dealer that he was not under indictment for a felony offense.
The cases are being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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