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Two Canadian men guilty of hunting license fraud

MT bull elk

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Fifty big game animals were seized by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) after two Canadians were charged with hunting license fraud. Larry and Shane Adams of Emo, Ontario, used a Miles City, Montana address to purchase resident hunting licenses for the past several years—even though they weren’t technically residents. The father and son were sentenced in April after MFWP completed a “lengthy” license fraud investigation, the Billings Gazette reports.

Big game poached

This photo shows the animals that were seized from Larry and Shane Adams using a search warrant issued in Custer County.

While they technically owned the Montana home, the two are actually Canadian residents—even operating a fly-in fishing business in Ontario—and did not meet state residency requirements to purchase resident licenses. During the investigation, officials seized 15 elk, 22 mule deer, 11 antelope, one bighorn sheep and one mountain goat during the investigation; some were considered trophy animals, according to the Billings Gazette.

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According to investigators MFWP warden Mike Krings and MFWP criminal investigator Steve Marx, the men paid roughly $2,600 for resident hunting licenses over several years when they should have paid nearly $29,000 for those same licenses as nonresidents. 

“Residency fraud is a serious issue in Montana,” Krings said in a press release. “The violations are purposeful, and our abundant opportunities make it appealing to would-be violators. These opportunities are stolen every year from Montana hunters, especially special permit opportunities like the Square Butte mountain goat tag and Missouri Breaks bighorn sheep tag that Larry Adams drew.”

Both men pleaded no contest to license fraud and were sentenced to six months in jail for each misdemeanor count, which, according to the Billings Gazette, could be suspended if “they obey all laws and pay all fines, court costs and restitution totaling $28,295.” They also lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for five years, retroactive to 2014.

Did the punishment fit the crime?

6 Comments

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tesseract.cubed
Jose M. - posted 1 week ago on 08-12-2019 11:13:17 am
Corvallis, Or
goHUNT INSIDER

Hmm.
Seems pretty emotionally charged and not much logic going on.
They were charged with a misdemeanor. Stop using "words for shock value" like felony, federal crime and blue pigs.
Also, please stop using caps lock. It transposes a sense of absurd mouth-foaming recklessness that is stereotypical of boomers/snowflakes when it comes to discussing nuanced topics online. Lastly, ease up on the logical fallacies that include the state, the individual and "such laws on illegal immigrants". They are really easy to see through, even if you might not be able to.

See, no caps lock.

Jake S. - posted 1 week ago on 08-12-2019 10:41:01 am

Eric j.
So, Your clearly a holster sniffing badge bunny who deserves neither freedom nor safety and you do not understand freedom, the constitution or the reasons it was created. This is a over zealous BLUE PIG abusing his power under color of law (state law to inforce federal crimes by the way) in order to receive a gold star on the old LEO record, nothing more. The men are charged with felony crimes for HUNTING! That’s plane wrong period. They did not POACH any of the game that was stolen from them. They hunted it with the permits they PAID FOR. If residency( specifically the number of days you spent in a home you own) was such big deal, why does the state not do a better job making you prove residency rather then paying a wage to and paying for the benefits of some brain dead blue dog to run around in a gas guzzler on the taxpayers dime and charge innocent people with felonies and tie the court system up for a minimum of 6 months??
Please explain why colorado, New Mexico and Arizona have all stated that they will in no way Inforce (or even try to inforce) such laws on illegal immigrants??
No, wait. I’ll tell you. It is because there is no money for the “state” when tickets are written to poor people but, if the person has a few bucks(or a couple of homes)... then its good to go. The blue pig gets his gold star and the state steal a few bucks.... and since the words “poacher” and “Canadian” were used the public won’t think twice.
All this did was cost the tax payer money. It was to no end. The softball sentence handed down by the judge nearly says as much.
The real crime is the fact that we as Americans allow this kind of government over reach and the invasion of homes and confiscation of personal property by the government who is sworn to uphold the constitution and the rights it is meant to insure for all people’s (yes even fcking Canadians) who are in this country.

THIS WAS A WASTE OF TAX DOLLARS, DID NOTHING AND HARMED INNOCENT PEOPLE.

THIS WAS HUNTING NOT POACHING.

GO TO AFRICA AND SPEND TIME IN THE BUST LIKE I HAVE, WHEN YOU SEE A DEAD RHINO GUNNED DOWN WITH HUNDREDS OF 7.62X39 ROUNDS, FEET AND HORNS CUT OFF FOR A QUICK BUCK, NO MEAT TAKEN WHILE PEOPLE ARE STARVING 20 MILES AWAY.. WHEN YOU SEE THAT YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT POACHERS ARE AND WHAT POACHING LOOKS LIKE.

THESE MEN ARE POACHER IN THE SAME WAY ALL REPUBLICANS ARE RACIST... WORDS FOR SHOCK VALUE! CALLING THESE GUYS POACHERS IS A CHEAP SHOT ON TOP OF SUCKER PUNCH FROM THE BLUE PIGS.

Eric J. - posted 1 week ago on 08-07-2019 02:55:05 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

How in the world can you lose privileges retroactively, when they presumably hunted during those retroactive years?

To Jake S.: Residency requirements and paying taxes to a State are not even close to the same thing. I pay income taxes in multiple States due to work travel--doesn't make me a resident of any of them. Same for property taxes. Owning property in Canada doesn't make me a Canadian citizen or resident. No different for the States. Laws are pretty cut and dry here. As an attorney, I've got to say that this is 100% consistent with the Constitution (since you referred to it)--all powers not expressly granted to the federal government in the Constitution are "reserved to the States," including States rights to legislate their own residency requirements. This was straight up fraud on the part of these two guys.

Jake S. - posted 1 week ago on 08-06-2019 08:57:16 am

They drew/paid for the tags. The home in Montana belongs to them and they pay TAX In Montana. I’m sorry but WTF! this is just another example of how out of control our government has become! The only crime here is the disregard for the American constitution by the wild life officers (also known as wild blue pigs) so they could have a shiny gold star on the old LEO record.
Go find some some real crime and some ACTUAL poachers to stop.
To all the game wardens, you are a wast of OUR tax dollars and this is proof.

Dave G. - posted 2 weeks ago on 08-02-2019 11:18:16 am
Sacramento, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

Until the states get serious about poaching/fraud like this and put people in jail for 3-6 months a pop, it will continue to happen. In this case they just figured if we get caught we just have to pay what we would have had to pay if we somehow could have gotten drawn for the tags. Lame...

tesseract.cubed
Jose M. - posted 2 weeks ago on 08-02-2019 10:19:49 am
Corvallis, Or
goHUNT INSIDER

Question: Does, "They also lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for five years, retroactive to 2014", mean that they still have their hunting and fishing privileges because the punishment was retroactive?

Also, so long as they dont get a speeding ticket, they could ultimately end up only paying a grand total of what is essentially a nice Guided Mule deer hunt that they split both ways or about 100$ every month for just under 2 years, split both ways means 50$ each. That's less than a cell phone bill.

If this is true, his magnitude of sorry must be making up a lot of it.