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Grand Junction biologist gets probation, $55,000 fine for selling bobcat pelts

Bobcat in University Hill neighborhood of Boulder. Photo: Jan Otto

Photo: Jan Otto

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.— A former U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist who pleaded guilty to selling Colorado bobcat pelts to fur traders has been sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $55,100 in fines and restitution.

During a hearing Tuesday in Grand Junction, U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger also ordered Thad Bingham to never use or possess a firearm again, including weapons he transferred to his wife.

He had faced up to 18 months in prison.

The Daily Sentinel reported that his lawyer, Ashley Petrey, asked for leniency since he lost his job and won’t be able to hunt again.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Evans said Bingham has two previous poaching convictions and hasn’t learned his lesson. He said Bingham has more than $1 million in assets, enabling him to pay a high fine.

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