Two Bozeman Men Sentenced For Poaching Elk Inside Yellowstone National Park
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012
Two Bozeman residents have been sentenced for poaching a bull elk in Yellowstone National Park last November.
25-year-old Vincent Giovanni Ripoli, and 21-year-old Travis Mark Johnson were arrested on November 11, 2006, by national park rangers and special agents for shooting an elk in the Stephens Creek area, west of the Yellowstone River and northwest of Gardiner, Montana.
Both men pled guilty to several violations of federal law for killing and transporting illegally taken wildlife and the possession and carrying of a firearm in the park. Ripoli also pled guilty to a marijuana possession charge.
Ripoli was sentenced to 30 days in jail, placed on one year of supervised probation and three years of unsupervised probation. Johnson was sentenced to five days time served and placed on unsupervised probation for three years.
Each man was assessed over $8,000 in restitution, fines, and special assessments. They have both been banned from entering Yellowstone National Park for four years and have been banned from hunting for four years. They were also ordered to forfeit the firearms and ammunition which were used during the commission of the crime.
Hunting is not permitted within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. Shooting and taking wildlife inside the park is a criminal offense. It is also unlawful to possess a loaded firearm in the park. As in this case, violators face heavy fines, restitution costs, jail time, forfeiture of crime-associated personal property, and loss of hunting privileges throughout most western states.
Did You Know?
There are more people hurt by bison than by bears each year in Yellowstone. Park regulations state that visitors must stay at least 25 yards away from bison or elk and 100 yards away from bears.