A Utah hunting guide is facing a felony charge for allegedly illegally baiting a bear, that was shot and killed by Donald Trump Jr. while on vacation in 2018.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Wade Cox Lemon of Millard County, Utah, faces a third-degree felony charge of wanton destruction of protected wildlife.
The 61-year-old was charged on behalf of the Utah Attorney General’s Office through the Davis County Attorney’s Office, according to FOX 13 Salt Lake City.
Lemon could face five years in prison if convicted, even though it was Trump Jr. who pulled the trigger. he wasn’t named in the lawsuit, but the Utah Department of Natural Resources confirmed that he was indeed the client for the trip.
However, he had no way of knowing that his hunt was being illegally baited.
The Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings told the outlet that Trump Jr.:
“Was actually a victim and a now possible witness to a fraudulent scheme to lead the hunter to believe it was actually a legitimate Wild West hunting situation.”
Wildlife agents discovered the bait pile in front of a trail camera with Lemon’s initials and phone number listed on the device. Witnesses also say that Lemon used dogs in the hunt, which is also illegal in Utah.
The charging document says:
“The end of the hunt is recorded showing the bear surrounded by a pack of hunting dogs before the client shoots and kills the animal.
Utah law forbids luring bears to a bait station and then pursuing the animal with dogs.”
According to FOX News, Utah Code 23-20-3 states that it’s against the law to:
“Possess or use bait or other attractant to take protected wildlife which is prohibited in this title or a rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board.”