Senior Citizen Pleads Guilty to Breeding “Giant Hybrid Sheep”

Lorraine Logan /
Lorraine Logan /

In one of the most head-scratching cases so far in 2024, 80-year-old Montana rancher Arthur Schubarth pled guilty to trying to illegally create giant sheep for captive hunting. Announced via a Department Of Justice (DOJ) press release, they claim he tried to and conspired with five others from 2013 to 2021 to create “giant hybrid sheep.” Done to take advantage of hunting preserves that pay more for giant sheep, they were willing to risk the wildlife trafficking charges.

Trafficking parts of numerous giant sheep across the world, he looked to create a hybrid clone of these sheep. In doing so, he violated multiple treaties as well as US agriculture laws.

According to the court documents, a pure genetic male, Marco Polo Argali, named Montana Mountain King, had his semen used to create large hybrid genetics. With illegally forged veterinary documents made by Schubarth and his associates, they claimed these were legally permitted species. At times, he sold the semen directly to other sheep breeders.

In the press release, Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division wrote, “This was an audacious scheme to create massive hybrid sheep species to be sold and hunted as trophies. In pursuit of this scheme, Schubarth violated international law and the Lacey Act, both of which protect the viability and health of native populations of animals.”

Under the Lacey Act, certain animals, fish, and plants were made illegal to import without proper importation declarations. These declarations can be incredibly costly and have strings attached that make the whole process worthless down the line.

Now facing a potential ten years in prison, up to $500k in fines, and six more years of supervised release, this could ultimately be a case that takes his life. While laws against the importation of animals and genetics are there to protect our ecosystem, this whole situation with unnamed and, as of now, uncharged accomplices makes it seem like he was set up. Given the propensity of targeting hunters by the liberals, as well as the existence of his case being largely in the Obama administration, it’s reasonable to suspect he was being targeted.