Man receives probation for fake hunting permits

A 28-year-old Snowmass man will spend the next two years on probation after pleading guilty last month to selling fake New Mexico elk-hunting permits.

If Joshua Meacham stays out of trouble for those two years, the conviction for felony theft and another for misdemeanor theft will be wiped from his record thanks to a plea deal offered by the District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutor Sarah Oszczakiewicz said Tuesday that her predecessor, who left several months ago to take a job with the city of Aspen, did not think the deferred judgment was appropriate for Meacham because he’d been accused of similar actions in the past. However, Oszczakiewicz said she and other attorneys in the DA’s Office were too busy to prosecute Meacham within speedy trial rules, so she offered the deal.

Meacham would have faced between two and six years in prison for the felony plea and between six and 18 months in the county jail for the misdemeanor plea.

He was originally charged with two counts of felony theft after a woman reported paying $3,625 and a man said he paid $6,300 for elk hunting permits advertised on eBay in 2014. Meacham also was charged by a sheriff’s office in Arizona for selling hunting permits and not delivering them, though that felony fraud charge was dismissed after he allegedly paid back the money he received for those permits, according to police.

District Judge Chris Seldin said Meacham either intended to defraud the elk hunters or “made poor, immature, inattentive business decisions.” Meacham will not be allowed to consume alcohol or drugs while on probation and is forbidden from selling hunting permits during that time, Seldin said.