A man was charged with 42 misdemeanors for actions.
Douglas R. Crookston, 41, of Duluth, Georgia was charged with 42 misdemeanors for wildlife violations, including the illegal possession of six big game animals, stemming. Crookston pleaded guilty to 10 counts of making a false statement in the purchase of a hunting license, three counts of hunting without a valid license, and two counts of illegal possession—one trophy mule deer and one trophy bull elk—on April 28 in Adams County Court.
Evidence of fraud was obtained in February of 2019 when an investigation uncovered that Crookston was obtaining licenses as a Colorado resident while residing elsewhere. He had been a resident in Colorado two years prior but had given up his residency after moving to Georgia. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), Crookston was aware of the law regarding hunting, licensing, and residency and actively participated in attempting to evade being found out.
“While license fraud cases are not the typical ‘poacher’ case, CPW takes these cases very seriously,” said Wildlife Officer Scott Murdoch, who worked the case. “I believe that Mr. Crookston hoped that investigators would just think that this whole thing was a big mix-up and move on."
An Adams County, Colorado judge sentenced Crookston to two years of supervised probation and a court-ordered suspension of all hunting, fishing, and trapping-related activities. The conviction makes him eligible for suspension of all hunting, fishing and trapping privileges in Colorado and the other 48 states in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact for up to five years.
In addition, Crookston was ordered to make a $500 donation to Colorado Operation Game Thief, pay $41,735.50 in fines and court costs and forfeit all wildlife seized in the investigation to CPW.
“Colorado residents are entitled to certain privileges that out-of-state residents are not. This comes in the form of license prices, license draw odds, and license allocations. When non-residents claim Colorado residency fraudulently, all wildlife taken become illegal. They are essentially stealing money from CPW and opportunity from lawful residents that may have been able to acquire the fraudulently obtained license," said Murdoch. “This sends a clear message that wildlife crimes are not going to be tolerated and that the district attorney’s office is working with CPW to protect wildlife and to protect the interests of legal sportspersons of Colorado.”
You can read more about this case on the CPW website.
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