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Man Convicted Of Damaging US Forest Service Land

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DENVER (AP) — A Gunnison County property owner who prosecutors say treated U.S. Forest Service property as his own has been convicted of federal charges.

Joseph Scott Wagner of Broomfield was convicted this week of two counts of damaging U.S. property and one count of removing U.S. property.

Court documents say that after Wagner built a pond in 2008 that spilled onto the Gunnison National Forest, he was told to pay about $15,000 to rehabilitate the area. Federal officials also determined he needed to remove several structures on national forest system land.

Prosecutors say that as federal crews wrapped up rehabilitation of the area, Wagner re-graded a large portion of their completed work.

A magistrate judge rejected Wagner’s arguments that the government misled him into thinking he had permission to do the re-grading.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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