Outfitter pleads guilty to license violation

Harper Enlarge photo

Harper

A La Plata County outfitter pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to operating a business with an expired license and giving a false report to a U.S. Forest Service special agent.

The incidents involving Keith Harper, owner of Outlaw River & Jeep Tours, occurred in the San Juan National Forest on Old Lime Creek Road and Hermosa Park Road.

Harper’s license to provide outfitting and guiding services, which he’d held for several years, expired Dec. 31, 2011.

Two other counts were dropped – violation of a special-use authorization and a count of operating with an expired permit.

The statutory penalty for each count is up to six months imprisonment and up to a $5,000 fine.

Federal District Judge David L. West set sentencing for 3 p.m. Oct. 23.

A lapsed license isn’t Harper’s only problem.

He was convicted late last year of groping two women while giving them a snowmobile tour in the Cascade Creek area in February 2011.

A San Juan County jury cleared him of a third similar charge. He faced two years in prison on each of the misdemeanor counts.

Harper was sentenced in March 2012 to four years probation and required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 10 years, enroll in a sex-offender treatment program, pay more than $10,000 in costs and abstain from alcohol and drugs while on probation.

Harper is appealing the case.

daler@durangoherald.com

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