Nebraska outfitter pleads guilty to violating Lacey Act plus more
A Nebraska outfitting company is making news again. Last week, 30-year-old owner Jacob Hueftle of Hidden Hills Outfitters LLC (HHO) of Broken Bow pleaded guilty “for conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,” KBear Country News reports.
This is the second time this summer the outfitter has made headlines. As goHUNT previously reported, in June, Logan Spanel – an employee of HHO – was also sentenced for violating the Lacey Act, which bans the trafficking of wildlife, fish and/or native plants. Spanel was guilty of guiding and assisting HHO clients in a variety of unlawful hunting activities between November 2016 and 2017.
Now it’s owner Jacob Hueftle’s turn. A lengthy investigation found that between September 2012 and April 2018 Heuftle, HHO and its employees “provided guiding and outfitting services to hunting clients for the unlawful take of no less than 97 big game animals or wild turkeys,” including 30 whitetail deer, 34 mule deer, six antelope and 27 wild turkeys, according to Kbear Country News.
Hueftle currently faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 and the company faces an additional five years of probation and an additional fine of $500,000. He will be sentenced on Oct. 5.
While goHUNT reported on Spanel’s sentencing and arrest, according to Kbear Country News, 29 HHO employees, guides and clients have pleaded guilty so far and had to pay a total of $248,048 in fines and restitution for the following reasons:
- Deer taken within baited areas;
- Deer, antelope and wild turkeys taken with weapons prohibited during the season;
- Deer taken during closed season;
- Deer taken from the road or without a valid permit; and
- Mule deer taken within the Mule Deer Conservation Area.