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DA won’t prosecute wild horse investor

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 18th, 2013




Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — Prosecutors won’t file charges against a La Jara man who allegedly admitted he violated the law when he shipped hundreds of wild horses beyond Colorado’s borders.

ProPublica reported last September that federal land managers sold Tom Davis at least 1,700 wild horses and burros since 2009. Yet after it sorted through state brand documents, the publication could not account for the whereabouts of almost 1,000 horses he purchased.

Davis allegedly told ProPublica that he shipped some of the federally protected animals out of state without brand inspections — a misdemeanor crime under state law.

Wild horse advocates subsequently accused him of sending the animals off to slaughterhouses, but Davis denied those allegations.

The Conejos County Sheriff’s Office went on to investigate records of Davis’ purchases from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as well as his brand inspection activity. But the agency, which received help from state brand inspectors and the U.S. Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General, limited its review to the period of inquiry allowed under Colorado’s statute of limitations.

It found no evidence that Davis shipped uninspected animals out of state during that time, District Attorney David Mahonee said in a June 17 press release.

As a result, his office will not file any charges related to the matter, he said.












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