Man pleads guilty in poaching case
Post Independent Staff
May 10, 2006
Alleged poacher Richard W. Schroeder, of Festus, Mo., pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony and five misdemeanor counts for being involved in an illegal hunting operation in Garfield County with at least two other Missouri hunters.
Schroeder allegedly admitted to the Colorado Division of Wildlife that he committed several violations, including serving as a hunting guide for Gregory Jaegers' illegal Missouri-based Renegade Guide Service in 2004 and illegally killing and abandoning a black bear in Garfield County.
In a plea agreement with the district attorney, Schroeder pleaded guilty to Class 5 felony willful destruction of wildlife, and five misdemeanors including failure to dress or care for wildlife, two licensing violations, conspiracy to commit a licensing violation, and illegal possession of wildlife.
Schroeder is scheduled to be sentenced June 2. He could face between six months and six years in prison and between $1,000 and $100,000 in fines.
As part of the plea agreement, the District Attorney's Office is recommending Schroeder serve a three-year deferred judgment and sentence, and pay a $3,000 donation to Operation Game Thief in lieu of jail or prison. He could also have to pay $2,080 in fines for his misdemeanor charges.
But, said Assistant District Attorney Amy Fitch, the court does not have to abide by the plea agreement, and Schroeder could go to jail anyway.
Jaegers, of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., who also appeared in court Thursday, faces 22 felony and misdemeanor counts for operating an outfitter service without a license, illegally selling wildlife and illegally killing bear, deer and mountain lion without a license. His case was continued until June 16.
The third man involved in the illegal hunting operation, Keith C. Schweiss, of Bloomsdale, Mo., was a no-show in court on Thursday. He is scheduled to reappear in court on June 16.
Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext. 520