A celebrity Bowhunting couple has been sentenced in federal court in Omaha on charges of conspiring to violate the Lacey Act, which bans wildlife trafficking.
The case against Josh Bomar, 32, and Sarah Bomar, 33, and Bomar Bohunting LLC of Ankeny, Iowa, was related to the largest known poaching case in Nebraska.
A Broken Bow outfitter has been sentenced to probation in a Nebraska poaching case
Al Bomar pleaded guilty October 19 in US District Court of Nebraska to a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy. In contrast, four more serious charges were dropped, most of them related to allegations of illegal bait fishing spots.
On Thursday, US Magistrate Judge Michael D. Nelson sentenced them to three years of probation and 40 hours of community service.
Nelson also ordered the Bowmars to pay a $75,000 fine ($25,000 for both Bowmars and the business), a financial judgment of $44,000 in lieu of forfeiture of certain property, and restitution of $13,000.
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As part of the probation, Bowmars are prohibited from hunting or engaging in any hunting-related activities within the state of Nebraska during the probationary period.
In a press release, United States Attorney General Stephen Russell said that beginning in September 2015 and continuing through November 2017, Bowmars conducted about five hunts a year at Hidden Hills Outfitters, a large game-hunting and processing business near Broken Bow.
During the commercially directed hunting activity, the Bomars conspired to move wildlife, or parts of it, from Nebraska to Ohio when they should have known it was against state law, said Russell.
The Bowmars, using the Internet and social media platforms including the Bowmar Bowhunting website, Instagram page, and YouTube channel, broadcast the hunting activities that took place at Hidden Hills.
“This sentencing hearing marks the completion of all anticipated trials for the many defendants in connection with abuses committed by Hidden Hills Outfitters’ owners, guides, and customers,” Russell said in a news release.
In all, 39 people were convicted and more than $750,000 in fines, damages and forfeitures were collected in a years-long case involving Hidden Hills Outfitters.
An additional 13 people have resolved their cases by administratively forfeiting multiple wildlife trophies arising from Hidden Hills Outfitters’ illegal hunting operations.
The primary violations involved at least 97 big game or wild turkey, including deer taken within bait areas; deer, antlers, and wild turkey taken with weapons or firearms prohibited during their respective hunting seasons; deer taken during off-season hours from the trail, or without a valid permit; and mule deer taken within the mule deer protection area.
The operation was a joint investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Office of Law Enforcement, and the Law Enforcement Division of the Nebraska Game and Park Commission.
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