CO: Trapper gets 27 months for illegal trapping and killing of bobcats
October 18, 2010
Hartsel man sentenced to 27 months for illegal trapping and killing of
A Hartsel man has been sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years
of supervised release for illegally trapping and killing bobcats and then
selling their pelts to fur buyers in Kansas and Montana.
Jeffrey M. Bodnar, 37, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy
to violate the Lacey Act and one felony count of possession of a firearm by
His wife, 46-year-old Veronica Anderson-Bodnar, was sentenced to five
years probation. She pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of Lacey Act
trafficking and one misdemeanor count of making false statements in
violation of the Lacey Act.
The Lacey Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to transport or sell
in interstate commerce any wildlife taken, possessed, transported or sold in
violation of state law or regulation.
Colorado limits bobcat trapping to a specific season and requires
trappers to obtain licenses. Colorado also generally prohibits the trapping
of bobcats with leghold traps.
Jeffrey Bodnar admitted conspiring with his wife to unlawfully trap and
kill bobcats without a license and using prohibited leghold traps.
He also admitted that the bobcat pelts were sold to buyers in Montana and
According to prosecutors, the couple received thousands of dollars from
the sale of the pelts to buyers. One buyer, however, was an undercover
special agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. On March 6, 2008,
prosecutors said the couple sold four bobcat pelts to the undercover agent
outside their home for $1,600.
Much of the trapping was done on U.S. Forest Service lands in Park
Jeffrey Bodnar was also accused by state authorities of poaching a black
bear, an elk, a mountain lion and a pronghorn, according to court documents.
"The Lacey Act has been in place for over 100 years to prevent the kind
of interstate trafficking of wildlife and wildlife parts in which these
defendants engaged for profit," said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney
general for the environment and natural resources division of the U.S.
"This case is an excellent example of how state and federal wildlife
agencies work together to protect our nation's natural treasures from
John Walsh, the U.S. Attorney in Denver, said that prosecutions under the
Lacey Act "are essential to protect wildlife from illegal trapping and
trafficking wildlife pelts."
During his three years of supervised release, Jeffrey Bodnar will be
prohibited from hunting, trapping or fishing.
During her five years of probation, Veronica Anderson-Bodnar, also of
Hartsel, will be prohibited from possessing firearms and also prohibited
from hunting, trapping or fishing.
Jeffrey Bodnar also pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession of a
firearm by a felon stemming from his conviction on a state felony charge in
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the
Colorado Division of Wildlife.Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939 or
[email protected] .
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