Fourth Judicial District Court Judge William Edelman approved the conditions of a plea agreement reached between the Sheridan County Attorney’s Office and Sheridan County resident Gregg Lambdin, who pleaded guilty on Aug. 1, 2019 to two misdemeanors and nine felonies for wanton destruction of big game animals. Lambdin was assessed $110,000 in fines, $144,000 in restitution and nine months jail time. Lambdin will serve his jail sentence in the Sheridan County Detention Center and he began his incarceration immediately after the sentencing hearing.
“We do not keep records for penalties in poaching cases, but I cannot remember a case brought against a defendant that resulted in fines, restitution and jail time of this magnitude,” said Game and Fish Sheridan Regional Wildlife Supervisor Craig Smith. “It is likely the largest poaching case in Wyoming history in terms of penalties against a single individual. We appreciate Judge Edelman’s willingness to impose the significant penalties agreed to in the plea deal and we appreciate the hard work by the Sheridan County Attorney’s Office in making sure the case was successfully prosecuted.”
Charges against Lambdin were filed in February 2019 after a two-month investigation by Wyoming Game and Fish Department law enforcement officers in late 2018.
The investigation began after information was provided to Game and Fish by a member of the public about possible illegal activity on Lambdin’s property. A Game and Fish law enforcement officer began surveillance of Lambdin’s property. The officer saw multiple deer carcasses on Lambdin’s property and also witnessed Lambdin kill a deer. A search of license records showed that Lambdin did not possess a current deer license.
A search warrant was served on Nov. 27, 2018 in cooperation with the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office. During the search of Lambdin’s property, one antelope and 113 white-tailed deer carcasses in varying stages of decomposition were documented.
As required by state statute, fines imposed by judges in wildlife poaching cases are distributed to the public school fund in the county in which the violation occurred.
Restitution monies imposed by judges are given to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The $144,000 restitution imposed by Judge Edelman will be placed into a fund used by the Game and Fish Commission for purchasing access easements to provide access to public and private lands.
(Photo source: Wyoming Game and Fish Department)