Hayden, Steamboat, Craig parties charged with wildlife crimes | CraigDailyPress.com

Hayden, Steamboat, Craig parties charged with wildlife crimes

Lisa Schlichtman/Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Routt County outfitter has been ordered to make a $20,000 donation to Operation Game Thief, a wildlife tip line, after he admitted to committing wildlife crimes during the 2016-17 hunting seasons.

Marvin Doherty, 70, owner and operator of the Hayden-based Outdoor Specialist LLC, and four of his employees must also pay thousands of dollars in penalties for their crimes based on an agreement reached with the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Doherty's son, Vaughn M. Doherty, 45, of Craig, also participated in the scheme, as did co-conspirators Gregory L. Londos, 36, Philip O. Davis, 33, and Ryan J. Doughty, 29, all from Steamboat Springs.

The case was investigated by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

"They committed numerous crimes including manipulating the system by purchasing licenses available over the counter, then used them where they were not supposed to," Evan Jones, a CPW wildlife officer from Craig, was quoted as saying in a news release. "Because of this, their clients illegally harvested numerous elk on public land, taking the opportunity away from legal, public land hunters. We are very satisfied with having brought this activity to an end."

According to CPW officials, the group led clients on public land hunts using licenses valid only on private land in game management unit 12. They also took wildlife illegally, trespassed and committed several additional criminal acts.

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None of the clients who participated in the illegal hunts face criminal charges.

Marvin Doherty pleaded guilty to one count of illegal sale of wildlife, a Class 5 felony, and to the illegal possession of three or more big game animals and baiting big game wildlife. He agreed to a four-year deferred judgment and sentence, and the judge prohibited him from hunting for four years.

He also was ordered to pay $4,050 in fines in addition to the $20,000 donation to Operation Game Thief and he will also forfeit two utility vehicles used extensively to commit the crimes.

Vaughn Doherty pleaded guilty to three counts of hunting elk without a proper and valid license and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors. The judge sentenced him to four years of probation and $476 in fines.

Londos also pleaded guilty to illegal sale of wildlife, the illegal possession of three or more big game animals and hunting on private property without permission. He received a three-year deferred judgment and sentence and was placed on probation. He was ordered to pay $4,100 in fines.

Davis pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor hunting elk without a proper and valid license and two counts of illegal possession of wildlife. He paid $5,966 in fines.

Pending a CPW hearing, all five men may receive an additional suspension of their hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 46 Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact States, and the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies may review Doherty's status as a state licensed outfitter.

"They thought they could get away with it due to the remoteness of their location," CPW Officer Johnathan Lambert, who assisted Jones with the investigation, said in a news release. "They thought wrong. We have very dedicated game wardens in this state. Each of us will do all we can to apprehend violators, even in the most remote areas, and other states."

Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Jennings also was commended for her role in helping to bring the poachers to justice.

To reach Lisa Schlichtman, call 970-871-4221, email lschlichtman@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @LSchlichtman.