A pair of Craig Colorado ranchers face federal charges after allegedly creating an illegal dump on Bureau of Land Management land outside of Craig. U.S. Attorney, District of Colorado spokesperson Jeff Dorschner says that 70-year old Leland “John” Smith and 65-year old Brad Moroni Smith appeared in U.S. District Court in Grand Junction on Thursday afternoon and released on their own recognizance. They’re slated to return to court in Grand Junction today (Monday).
According to the indictment, the defendants dug trenches on land owned by the United States and administered by the Bureau of Land Management, into which they dumped and buried garbage, waste, and debris generated from their private property. They are also accused of using heavy equipment to excavate pits, create artificial ponds, and affect the flow of the Woodbury Gulch water channel – specifically at a riparian area along Woodbury Gulch on BLM property.
If convicted, the brothers face up to 10 years imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine per count. This case was investigated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).