Durango outfitter gets 4 months in jail

Guilty of breaking probation, working without a license

Harper Enlarge photo

Harper

A La Plata County outfitter was sentenced to four months in county jail Wednesday for violating probation after he was sentenced for operating his business on federal land without a valid permit.

Keith Harper also drew one year of probation from Magistrate David West in U.S. Federal Court in Durango.

In November 2012, West suspended a six-month sentence for Harper, who a month earlier had pleaded guilty to operating a guide service in the San Juan National Forest on an expired license and making a false report to a U.S. Forest Service special agent.

Harper’s license to provide guide services had expired Dec. 31, 2011.

In a trial earlier this year that didn’t involve a jury, only West, Harper was found guilty on five of six counts of conducting unauthorized guide services or activities in July 2013. West also revoked the earlier probation.

Harper was sentenced Wednesday to four months of jail for violation of probation and operating his business without a valid license.

Harper was taken from the courtroom to La Plata County jail.

Harper has had other problems related to his guide service.

In late 2011, he was convicted of groping two women during a snowmobile ride in the Cascade Creek area in San Juan County in February of that year.

He was sentenced on the groping charges in March 2012 to four years probation, was required to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 10 years, pay more than $10,000 in costs and abstain from alcohol and drugs while on probation.

A San Juan County jury found him not guilty on a third similar charge.

daler@durangoherald.com

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