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A Florida man pleaded guilty in March to illegally purchasing resident hunting licenses in Montana and has been fined more than $14,000.

Antonio deSoto, 69, of Tallahassee, Fla., was charged after Fish, Wildlife and Parks game wardens began an investigation in March 2010 looking for nonresident individuals who may have attempted to purchase resident hunting and/or fishing licenses. The search revealed that deSoto had purchased resident hunting/fishing licenses from 2004 to 2009 even though he was not a legal resident.

He was charged in October with eight counts of making a false statement to obtain a resident license in Lewis and Clark and Gallatin counties. In addition, he was charged with seven counts of unlawful possession, shipping and transportation of a big game animal.

In March, deSoto pleaded guilty to all charges. Under a plea agreement in Lewis and Clark County he was fined $3,160 for each citation and court costs and his privilege to hunt, fish or trap was revoked for two years. In Gallatin County he pleaded guilty to all charges and paid $11,060 in fines, restitution and court costs. He also lost his privilege to hunt, fish or trap for two years.

Seized in the investigation were three elk mounts; three whitetail mounts; one whitetail shoulder mount and three antelope mounts -- all of which were illegally killed between 1999 and 2009. A total of $14,220 was assessed -- $8,745 in fines, $5,000 in restitution and $475 in court costs.

 

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