January 28, 2019

From Missoulian.com

A former Missoula police officer was convicted this month on illegal hunting charges in Alaska, one of three people implicated in the scheme.

Casey Richardson, along with Dale Lackner and Jeffrey Harris of Washington, each changed their pleas on multiple illegal hunting charges filed against them in 2017.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska reported Richardson was sentenced to three months in a halfway house, followed by three months of home confinement. All three men are prohibited from hunting or assisting with hunting during a five-month probation period. Richardson is also ordered to pay $14,000 in restitution.

Richardson, who retired from the Missoula Police Department in 2016, was alleged to have participated in illegal hunting-related schemes at a lodge within the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska in 2014 and 2015.

Specifically, Richardson is alleged to have put canine-poisoning sweetener in rabbit carcasses in an effort to kill off the wolf population and bolster game like sheep and moose. He also illegally killed a Dall sheep in September of 2014, according to court documents.

The Ptarmigan Lake Lodge, where Richardson worked under the table in order to have hunting privileges, did not report Richardson to have completed any kills to the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game Harvest Report that year, prosecutors said.

On Jan. 18, Richardson pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, a conservation law established in 1900 criminalizing the illegal taking of wildlife, fish and plants.

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