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Utah hunting guide sentenced to prison

MONTICELLO, UTAH--On January 26, 2009, the Seventh District Court in Monticello sentenced Eric Leon Butt Jr. to four second-degree felony counts of one to 15 years in prison for theft and stolen property crimes related to his illegal guiding operation. He was also ordered to pay $54,150 in restitution to two hunters he had contracted to guide.

In separate incidents, Butt had agreed to guide two out-of-state hunters. The hunters had wired money to Butt to buy the hunting permits, which he failed to do. Butt told the hunters that he had purchased the necessary permits, but could not produce them, when asked to do so by Utah conservation officers.

While guiding one hunting client, the client's rental car was broken into and $25,000 was stolen. Wildlife investigators later recovered the money from a hiding spot near Butt's hunting camp. Upon further investigation, Butt was found to be in possession of stolen property, including two ATVs and camp trailers.

Law enforcement officials suspect Mr. Butt's to be responsible for the theft of other camp trailers and for the commission of additional wildlife crimes. Anyone with information about the defendant's possible illegal activity is encouraged to call the Help Stop Poaching hotline at: 1-800-662-DEER.

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