BROKEN BOW, Neb -- An Iowa company and its owners were sentenced to probation after they pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act in Broken Bow.

U.S. Attorney Steven Russell said 32-year-old Josh Bowmar, 33-year-old Sarah E. Bowmar, and their company Bowmar Bowhunting LLC, all of Ankeny, Iowa, were sentenced in federal court in Omaha on Jan 12.  They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act prohibits the trafficking in interstate commerce "tainted" (i.e., taken in violation of a law or regulation) wildlife, fish, or indigenous plants. Josh and Sarah Bowmar were sentenced to three years of probation each along with 40 hours of community service each. They are also ordered to pay a $75,000 fine ($25,000 each), a $44,000 money judgment instead of forfeiting certain property, and $13,000 restitution. The Bowmars can not hunt or take part in any activities associated with hunting within the District of Nebraska during the period of probation.

According to court documents, the Bowmars did approximately five hunts per year at Hidden Hills Outfitters (HHO) near Broken Bow between September 2015 and November 2017. During hunting season, the Bowmars planned to transport wildlife, or parts of them, from Nebraska to Ohio, when the Bowmars should have known that the wildlife was attempted to be taken, possessed, and transported against Nebraska state law. The Bowmars used several internet and social media platforms like their Bowmar Bowhunting website, Instagram site, and YouTube channel to publish and broadcast their hunting activities at HHO.

Officials said the Bowmars sentencing completes all of the prosecutions of multiple defendants that also committed violations by owners, guides, and clients of HHO. There were 52 people that made violations and a total of 39 defendants have pleaded guilty. They have all been sentenced and made to pay a total of $759,732 in fines, restitution, and forfeiture, serve 30 months of incarceration, 47 years of probation, and 72 years of hunting and guiding restrictions for underlying violations for at least 97 unlawfully-taken big game animals or wild turkey including deer taken within baited areas; deer, pronghorn, and wild turkeys taken with weapons or firearms not allowed during their respective hunting seasons; deer taken during closed season hours, from the road, or without a valid permit; and mule deer taken within the Mule Deer Conservation Area. There were 13 more people that settled their cases through administrative abandonment of various wildlife trophies that came from unlawful hunts at HHO.

The operation was done by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Law Enforcement Division.