CORTEZ TAXIDERMIST SENTENCED FOR LACEY ACT VIOLATIONS
DENVER (LAWFUEL) – Paul Ray Weyand, age 37, of Cortez, Colorado, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Walker D. Miller to serve 3 years probation, with the first 6 months in home detention, for violations of the Lacey Act, United States Attorney Troy Eid announced. Weyand, a Cortez Taxidermist, was also fined $2,000 and was sentenced to work 50 hours of community service for doing taxidermy work on illegally poached big game.
Paul Ray Weyand was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 8, 2007. He pled guilty to three misdemeanors before Judge Miller on March 25, 2008. He was sentenced yesterday, December 30, 2008.
Weyand is a taxidermist in Cortez, Colorado, doing business as “Memories on the Wall Taxidermy.” He is associated with co-defendant Eric Leon Butt, Jr., who operated a big-game outfitting business in western Colorado called “Outdoor Adventures.” Through this business, Butt solicited clients, usually from other states, whom he would guide on big-game hunts in Colorado in exchange for money or other considerations. During some of Butt’s guided hunts, he would encourage or allow clients to kill big-game animals for which they did not possess the required hunting license. Butt was sentenced on December 10, 2008 by Judge Miller to serve 12 months in federal prison for conspiracy to traffic in illegally poached big game.
According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, Butt encouraged his clients to use the taxidermy services of Weyand. In exchange for money or other considerations, Weyand prepared taxidermy mounts of these animals, some of which were accompanied by tags or licenses issued to someone other than the person who had killed the animal. The defendant transported or shipped the mounts from Colorado to clients in other states, either by shipping the mounts or delivering them personally. Weyand provided Butt with a discount on taxidermy work in exchange for referring clients to him.
“We’re committed to keeping Colorado big-game hunting ethical, fair and safe,” said United States Attorney Troy Eid.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda A. McMahan and Department of Justice Environmental Crimes Section Senior Trial Attorney Robert S. Anderson.
The Lacey Act is a Federal wildlife law which makes it unlawful to transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase wildlife which was taken, transported, possessed, or sold in violation of state, federal, or Indian tribal laws or regulations.