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Elk Poacher Gets Fine and Jail Time

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Date: February 29, 2008
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
February 29, 2008    08-012
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015


Image of Belderrain

Elk Poacher Gets Fine And Jail Time

A lengthy investigation into the killing of two bull elk along U.S. Highway 191 in and near Yellowstone National Park has resulted in a felony conviction.

Michael David Belderrain, 36, was sentenced Tuesday to four years in federal custody by the Honorable William F. Downes, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming.

Belderrain had pleaded guilty last August to felony counts of being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Transportation of Illegally Possessed Wildlife, and Unlawful Possession of Illegally Taken Wildlife.

Judge Downes also ordered Belderrain to pay a $1,150 fine and $6,000 in restitution, and placed the Pipestone, Montana man on 3 years of supervised probation after his release from prison.

The investigation, begun in the fall of 2005, included the execution of search warrants at three different Montana locations, leading to the issuance of a felony warrant for Belderrain’s arrest. He was taken into custody by Park Rangers in Butte, Montana, in April 2007.

National Park Service Special Agents, Yellowstone National Park Rangers, and Wardens from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks received significant assistance from Special Agents and Law Enforcement Officers of the U.S. Forest Service, the Gallatin and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Departments, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the staff of the Yellowstone National Park Geographic Information Systems Lab.



Did You Know?

Dog Hooked to Travois for Transporting Goods.

Some groups of Shoshone Indians, who adapted to a mountain existence, chose not to acquire the horse. These included the Sheep Eaters, or Tukudika, who used dogs to transport food, hides, and other provisions. The Sheep Eaters lived in many locations in Yellowstone.