Sheep poacher faces heavy fine, jail
The man arrested in March for poaching a bighorn sheep in Glenwood Canyon pleaded guilty Thursday in district court.
In court, Joshua Eli Lloyd, 25, of Glenwood Springs, admitted to walking within 30 feet of the bighorn ram in Glenwood Canyon, then using a .22-caliber rifle to kill it, prosecutor Lawson Wills said.
Lloyd then cut the sheep’s head off and placed it in a plastic bag, Colorado Division of Wildlife authorities said.
Lloyd was arrested by Division of Wildlife officers Darren Chacon and Sonia Marzec, who waited on March 7 near the sheep’s severed head for Lloyd to come back and pick up the sheep’s remains.
“This is a substantial plea, carrying a lengthy jail sentence, as well as a substantial fine,” Wills said.
Lloyd pleaded guilty to willful destruction of wildlife, a felony, as well as a misdemeanor charge of illegal possession of wildlife.
A limited number of licenses are available to hunt bighorn sheep, but Lloyd had no license and the herd in Glenwood Canyon is off-limits to hunters.
He faces from 30 days to a year in jail, at least $25,000 in fines and a possible lifetime ban from hunting. Lloyd also gave up five firearms seized during the arrest.
“We consider the taking of this animal a serious event,” Wills said. “And obviously the intent of the disposition is not only to address Mr. Lloyd, but also to discourage these types of events from happening in the future.”
Under the state’s Samson Law, illegal killing of trophy-size wildlife carries a $25,000 surcharge, in addition to any other fines. Lloyd has to pay the surcharge at the time of his sentencing on July 22.
The $25,000 surcharge will come back to Garfield County to be used for law enforcement or wildlife purposes, Wills said.
“This is going to cost him 30,000 bucks,” Wills said. “That’s as big a fine as we’ve ever assessed.”
Wildlife biologists said the ram Lloyd is suspected of killing was 8 1/2 years old, with a three-quarter horn curl. Any ram with a half curl – where the horn has grown at least through half of a circle – meets the Samson classification.