News and Press Releases

Former Nez Perce Tribal Conservation Officer Pleads Guilty to Making a False Statement to the FBI

April 25, 2012

Currently Awaiting Sentencing for Theft

COEUR D'ALENE – Douglas R. Bisbee, 33, of Lapwai, Idaho, a former Nez Perce Tribal Conservation Officer, pleaded guilty in United States District Court today to making a false statement to a government agency, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

According to the plea agreement, Bisbee admitted that on two occasions in March 2006, he pawned two firearms assigned to him that were the property of his employer, Nez Perce Tribe, Conservation Enforcement. Pawn shop records showed that Bisbee failed to redeem the firearms and the weapons were eventually sold to third parties. On February 23, 2011, Bisbee admitted to federal investigators that he pawned the firearms but claimed he retrieved them from the pawn shop. According to the plea agreement, Bisbee admitted that he knew the statement he made was untrue and that he did it to delay and hinder the federal investigation.

The charge of making a false statement to a government agency is punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Bisbee is scheduled to be sentenced on July 16, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Coeur d'Alene.

Bisbee is currently awaiting sentencing for theft of government property due to his November 21, 2011, trial conviction. A federal jury found Bisbee guilty of using a government credit card to buy gasoline for his personal vehicles and for vehicles belonging to relatives and friends. The jury found the government's loss to be over $20,000. He is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on June 19, 2012. He faces up to ten years in prison.

“Mr. Bisbee's actions demonstrate a disregard of the authority and trust placed in him by the Nez Perce Tribe,” said Olson. “By putting his personal desires first and choosing to commit these criminal acts, Mr. Bisbee has abused the public's trust as well as the resources he was charged with protecting.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Nez Perce Tribal Police.