The government alleged that Gentry's taking of the black bear in
October 2004 was videotaped and later edited to appear as though Gentry
killed the black bear in a "fair chase" hunting situation. According to
the indictment, "Cubby" was a "trophy caliber, tame/captive-reared"
Gentry declined comment outside the courtroom. Minneapolis attorney
Ron Meshbesher represented Gentry.
"People thought it was worse than murder," Meshbesher said. "It was a
single charge that had to do with improper tagging, and that's all it
Gentry and co-singer Eddie Montgomery have sold about 4 million
records. They won the Country Music Association's Vocal Duo of the Year
in 2000. They are known for his such as "My Town" and "If You Ever Stop
The government alleged that Gentry paid Sandstone hunting guide Lee
Marvin Greenly $4,650 to shoot the black bear known as "Cubby" on
Greenly's 80-acre Minnesota Wildlife Connection property, where he also
operates a wildlife photography business. The indictment said that
Greenly charges individuals about $750 per guided hunt.
Immediately before Gentry entered his guilty plea, Greenly, 45,
appeared before Magnuson and pleaded guilty to two felony violations of
the Lacey Act in connection with his work as a licensed commercial
Greenly admitted he and his employees had guided some clients into
prohibited areas of the Sandstone Unit of the Rice Lake National
Wildlife Refuge near Sandstone, where he maintained bear-baiting
stations. One of his clients shot and killed two black bears in the
Charges brought against Gentry and Greenly were the result of an
investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Each of the two crimes Greenly pleaded guilty to is punishable by
potential maximum penalties of five years in prison and $250,000 fines.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said Greenly agreed to forfeit the two
all-terrain vehicles used in the commission of his crimes in the
prohibited regions of the wildlife refuge.
Magnuson ordered a pre-sentence investigation for both defendants.
Sentencing dates have not been set.