Alleged fake ranger barred from nat’l. park
CORTEZ, Colorado ” A man accused of posing as a ranger and giving paid tours of Mesa Verde National Park without the proper permits has been banned from the park for three years.
Scott Raymond Sorenson, 44, of Durango, pleaded guilty to failing to pay required fees, engaging in business operations in park areas without a permit, and providing false information about being a park ranger.
A suspended sentence handed down in December banned him from the park for three years and from all national parks for one year. Sorenson must write a letter to the Cortez Journal explaining his actions and must complete 20 hours of community service.
Sorenson operated Ranger Led Tours. Rangers became suspicious of him in July. Park officials contend Sorenson claimed to have been a park ranger at Grand Canyon National Park. Jessie Farias, chief ranger at Mesa Verde National Park, said Sorenson had never been a park ranger and was a volunteer briefly in Grand Canyon National Park.
Sorenson used his national park pass to gain entrance to Mesa Verde instead of paying commercial vehicle entry fees and failed to obtain a concessionaire contract, Farias said.
The park said Sorenson hoped to make more than $35,000 over the summer through bookings on his Web site, which is no longer active.
Sorenson and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
Cortez Journal, http://www.cortezjournal.com/
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