A Mount Ayr man faces several charges after a multi-year investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. D.N.R. spokesman, Kevin Baskins, says the investigation centered on 43-year-old James Juergens.
Baskins says Juergens allegedly was involved in a scheme to defraud money from out-of-state hunters using improper licenses, hunting during the closed season, and killing and illegally transporting whitetailed deer across state lines. Baskins says Juergens operated the business know as Latt’s Creek Inn, which provided outfitting, hunting and guide services.
He says there were seven individual counts that could be punishable up to five years on each count and a $20,000 fine for each count if he is found guilty. In addition to the wildlife charges, there were also charges that came up for failing to file income taxes and some mail fraud charges. Baskins says
Baskins says this is indicative of Iowa’s status as one of the most desirable places to come and hunt whitetale deer. He says there are caps on out of state hunters, and that sometimes opens up a market for alleged practices where people can be defrauded because their desire to come and hunt is so strong.
The investigation centered on the alleged illegal acts from September 2003 to October 2005, involving hunters from around the United States.