Created: Wed, 08 Jan 2014 10:31:00 MST
Updated: Wed, 08 Jan 2014 10:39:23 MST
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - Federal authorities are indicting a Mesa County man and business partner of wildlife crimes.
The men are suspected of illegally capturing and maiming mountain lions and bobcats as part of a scheme to make hunting the cats easier for their clients.
According to the U.S Justice Department, Christopher Loncarich of Mack and Nicholaus Rodgers of Medford, Oregon have been indicted on charges including transportation and sale of unlawfully-taken wildlife.
Loncarich was a big game outfitter who operated in Colorado on the Utah border.
Authorities said the guides would sometimes shoot the cats in the paws or legs, or attached leg-hold traps to restrain them before releasing the animals when clients were nearby.
“This is one of the more egregious situations that I’ve seen in 20 years of doing this,” said deputy regional manager at Colorado Parks and Wildlife Dean Riggs.
As of now, there's no timeline on the investigation.
Law enforcement at Colorado Parks and Wildlife want to remind the public that nobody has been convicted yet, and all charges have yet to be proven in court.