Elk season is taken quite seriously around the nation and especially here in Colorado. That is why when people hunt out of season and allegedly conspire to commit the crimes of unlawful taking of a 4x6 trophy class elk and unlawful take of an elk outside of hunting season, it can cause uproar. When those who are accused of the crime are a community's police officers, those concerns grow even more.

Two Boulder Police are now facing several felony charges as well as numerous misdemeanors in an event that recently took place involving the shooting of a 6-point trophy elk in a Mapleton neighborhood. The felony charges allege that the officers had conspired to shoot and kill the elk over a 21 hour period and then use the meat and trophy antlers for "personal gain."

The two officers face felony charges ranging from fraud to tampering with physical evidence. They also face several misdemeanors such as using an electronic device to communicate in violation of state gaming laws. The officers have since been placed on unpaid administrative leave and may risk being fired from their positions.

The officers claimed that in their opinion, "the animal needed to be humanely put down" as it was being aggressive. In an affidavit released since, text messages seem to confirm some previous conspiring regarding the elk and coordination in collecting the animal.

When someone has been charged with felonies, whether fraud or conspiracy, they can be facing a daunting future full of fines, prison time, and other potential consequences. That is why it is imperative to seek out a defense attorney immediately upon arrest so that your rights are protected and understood. Prior to offering statements in an investigation, contact a criminal defense attorney.

Source: TheDenverChannel.com, "Elk-killing officers face felony charges; DA says they plotted to shoot trophy animal in advance," Kim Nguyen, Jan. 18, 2013