Celebrity hunting couple, Josh and Sarah Bowmar, were indicted in one of the biggest poaching cases in recent history, but there seems to be more to the story. After talking with the couple’s attorney and receiving a statement from the Bowmars, it has taken quite an interesting turn.
Jacob Hueftle of Hidden Hills Outfitters plead guilty to a wide variety of egregious hunting violations earlier this month. As part of his plea agreement, he flipped on a bunch of people that violated hunting laws while on hunts with him.
The Bowmars were some of the people who the discredited outfitter named in his plea deal. Josh’s charges involve hunting deer and turkey over bait while Sarah is charged with hunting from or by a road. Both maintain their innocence and their lawyer stated that he has evidence that proves this, but due to ongoing legal matters he could not reveal the specific evidence.
In our last report, we stated that the couple had filed a suit against the US Fish and Wildlife service. At that time we did not know the specifics but the couple’s attorney filled us in on the details. The case involves challenging part of a 120-year-old law, the Lacy Act, that they claim is being used by prosecutors to turn misdemeanor offenses into felonies in order to coerce guilty pleas.
The Lacy Act was passed in 1900 to combat market hunting and the illegal selling of wildlife. It made it illegal to move illegally taken game across state lines. This law was a major step in ending market hunting and saving many wildlife species from extinction, so it was a good much-needed law.
The Bowmar’s Attorney stated this part of the law is being abused by prosecutors to add more serious charges to minor offenses in order to get guilty pleas. Violating the Lacy Act can lead to massive fines and jail time. Prosecutors would throw these massive charges against people in order to scare them into pleading down to the original charges.
The Bowmars maintain their innocence and refuse to be bullied into pleading guilty for charges that maintain they did not commit and have decided to fight against what their attorney called a ‘draconian’ law and will take it to a jury trial.
At this point, the Bowmar’s reputation is keeping them safe. They have a long history of hunting and fishing around the world with no hunting violations. We will keep you updated as more facts come out about this case. Remember we are all innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and the facts will come out when this goes to court.
Here is a copy of a statement released to us by their attorney.
You can download a PDF copy of the Statement here: