- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

HAMILTON, Mont. (AP) - A Darby man accused of being the ringleader in a large bear poaching case has pleaded guilty to five felony counts.

The Ravalli Republic newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/1Hk7qVk ) that 62-year-old James “Jimmy” Harrison will face a maximum of 45 years in prison after his plea Thursday in Ravalli County District Court.

Harrison pleaded guilty to felony common scheme unlawful possession of a game animal for nine bears killed between 2009 and 2014. He is one of three men charged in the case.

Court records say Harrison was confronted with a photograph of him setting up a bear baiting station and that he then admitted to killing the bears.

Using bait to attract bears or any predator is illegal in Montana.

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Information from: Ravalli Republic, http://www.ravallirepublic.com

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