Three sentenced in Dubois Game and Fish violation case

(Lander, WY) – A sentencing hearing was held on Monday, December 12, for Monte, Mitchell and Sterling Baker, the father and two adult sons who were recently found guilty of “numerous game and fish violations” at their December 10 jury trial.

The hearing was overseen by the Honorable Judge Jefferson Coombs.

Game and Fish licenses were suspended for each man for various amounts of time, as per Wyoming Statute 23-6-206, which can be read in full at the bottom of the page.

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Monte, who was charged with 4 “low misdemeanor” counts of entry into the Ingberg/Roy wildlife management area during seasonal closure, was sentenced to:

  • a total of 12 days in jail
  • $750 fines for each count, plus a $70 court fee, totalling $3,070
  • 2 years of unsupervised probation (6 months for each count)
  • 12 years suspension of game and fish licenses (3 years for each count)

If probation is violated, Monte faces a potential total of 704 additional days of suspended jail time.

Mitchell, who was charged with 5 “low misdemeanor” counts of entry into the Ingberg/Roy wildlife management area, was sentenced to:

  • a total of 10 days in jail
  • $500 fines for each count, plus a $70 court fee, totalling $570
  • 15 months of unsupervised probation (3 months for each count)
  • 5 years suspension of game and fish licenses (1 year for each count)

If probation is violated, Mitchell faces a potential total of 590 additional days of suspended jail time.

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Sterling, who was charged with one “high misdemeanor” count of untrue statement on hunting license, was sentenced to:

  • 1 year unsupervised probation
  • a $1,000 fine, plus a $70 court fee, totalling $1,070
  • 2 years suspension of game and fish licenses

Even though Monte and Mitchell had similar charges, Judge Coombs commented that he reserved harsher judgment for the father due to the fact that evidence indicated he was the one giving orders to the two sons.

Judge Coombs also added that despite the allocutions of the Bakers asserting they were unaware of any criminal acts in regards to the illegal entry, further evidence showed text conversations between Sterling and Mitchell that proved otherwise, with phrases mentioned like, “check for trail cams,” and “wearing face mask just in case.”

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“These are crimes of dishonesty,” Judge Coombs commented. “These gentlemen knew they weren’t supposed to be there. It is a fact of life that we do not get to choose which laws apply to us.”

It was additionally noted during the hearing that the Bakers also face similar charges in Teton County, with ensuing trials in the coming weeks.

Wyoming Statute 23-6-206 reads as follows:

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(a) The court may, in its discretion, revoke any license issued under this act to any person convicted of a violation of this act, for the remainder of the year in which the conviction
occurs, and may suspend the person’s privilege to purchase or receive any other license under this act, or to take any wildlife for the following time periods provided in paragraphs
(i) through (iii) and shall suspend the person’s privilege to purchase or receive any other license under this act for the time period provided in paragraph (iv) of this subsection:
(i) Not less than five (5) years for a conviction of any violation under W.S. 23-3-102(d);
(ii) Up to six (6) years for conviction of a high misdemeanor as provided in W.S. 23-6-202(a)(ii); (iii) Up to three (3) years for conviction of a low misdemeanor as provided in W.S. 23-6-202(a)(v); (iv) Three (3) years for a conviction of any violation under W.S. 23-2-104(d).

(b) No person whose license has been forfeited or privilege to purchase another license suspended shall procure, purchase, or possess another license during the period of
or feiture or suspension. If the person procures, purchases, or possesses another license during such period, the license is invalid and that person is not entitled to receive another
license for up to six (6) years next succeeding the original revocation or suspension period. Violation of this subsection constitutes a high misdemeanor punishable as provided in W.S.
23-6-202(a)(ii).

(c) No person whose license has been forfeited or privilege to purchase another license suspended shall take any wildlife prohibited by the court during the period of forfeiture
or suspension. If the person takes any wildlife prohibited by the court during such period, that person is not entitled to receive another license for up to six (6) years next succeeding
the original revocation or suspension period. Violation of this subsection constitutes a high misdemeanor punishable as provided in W.S. 23-6-202(a)(ii).

(d) The court may revoke the privileges of a person convicted of a violation of this act to purchase or receive any license or take any wildlife prohibited by the court until all
fines, costs and restitution imposed by the court are satisfied. Any person who violates this subsection shall be punished pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.

(e) “Conviction” means a determination of guilt by any Wyoming court having legal jurisdiction of the offense from which no appeal is legally perfected. Pleas of nolo contendere and forfeitures of bail shall be deemed convictions for the purposes of this act.

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