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Utah man convicted of felony bobcat poaching

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Posted at 2:40 PM, Sep 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-07 16:00:31-04
James Wheeler

James Wheeler

SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah – A Utah man has pleaded guilty to felony poaching in San Juan County.

Courtesy: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Courtesy: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said James Wheeler is facing one felony count and four misdemeanors of “wanton destruction of protected wildlife.”

Officials said the incidents were during the 2013-2014 bobcat trapping season.

DWR said a concerned citizen notified authorities about the illegal trapping Dec. 2013.

Over the next few months, officials discovered Wheeler was trapping the animals without permits.

In late January, officers found six illegal bobcats prepared for auction at Wheeler’s home.

Officials said he was going to sell the bobcats using another person’s permits.

He has been sentenced to pay $2,150 in fines and $2,100 in restitution to the Help Stop Poaching Fund.

Wheeler also received 36 months probation, was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service and is also facing up to 38 years of trapping license suspension.

MORE: Get more details from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources