Racketeering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $375,000 fine, but Lane County Circuit Judge Jack Billings found “substantial and compelling reasons” for a much lighter sentence recommended by both the state and Kennedy’s defense attorney in a plea agreement.
The lesser charges include one count each of second-degree forgery, unlawful hunting of a cow elk and unlawful possession of a game mammal; five counts of unlawful taking of big game; and 50 counts of unlawful possession of big game parts.
According to an April 9 grand jury indictment against the two men and seven alleged collaborators, some of the identities used in the scheme belonged to people who do not hunt.
Elk, antelope and bear also were killed illegally by members of the poaching ring, according to a state police statement released after the indictments.
The judge also revoked Kennedy’s hunting privileges for life and ordered him to pay $800 in restitution to the state fish and wildlife department.