SHERIDAN — The case against Gregg Lambdin, who was convicted of 11 counts of wanton destruction of a big game animal in October, concluded in 4th Judicial Court Jan. 30 when Lambdin’s firearms were forfeited to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Lambdin, of Sheridan County, has approximately five-and-a-half months left on a nine-month sentence. Upon his release, he will be required to complete one year of supervised probation.
Game warden Dustin Shorma appeared in court on behalf of the WGFD with a petition filed Dec. 2, to confiscate the firearms per a Wyoming statute. Lambdin said in court he couldn’t imagine a better place for the firearms he used to commit wildlife violations to go than to the Game and Fish Department — he said he is glad they’ll be in good hands.
One Winchester Model 70 Pre ‘64 .270-caliber bolt action rifle with scope, one Marlin 81T .22 bolt action rifle with scope, one Browning BPS 12-gauge shotgun and one Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver are now the property of Wyoming Game and Fish, along with several hundred rounds of ammunition.
All weapons except the revolver were confirmed as having been used in the commission of wildlife crimes for which Lambdin was convicted, Shorma said. He determined what weapons were used by rounds retrieved from deer carcasses on Lambdin’s property.
The hearing fell to district court because the total value of the weapons exceeds $1,000. The value of the weapons, scopes and ammunition totals between $1,525 and $2,425, based on Blue Book of Gun Values, according to court documents.
The WGFD initially seized the weapons when they executed a search warrant on Lambdin’s property. Lambdin asked the court to consider allowing the revolver to be given as a gift to a friend, who he said he hadn’t been in contact with since his arrest.
Judge John Fenn said he wasn’t willing to postpone the proceedings to track down an individual and arrange for a transfer of ownership — once the weapon is the property of WGFD, they can’t just give it away, he said. Shorma agreed to contact Lambdin’s friend to inform him if and when the firearm will be put up for auction or sold through a licensed dealer.
As a convicted felon, Lambdin is no longer permitted to legally possess a firearm. Shorma said the WGFD regularly confiscates or obtains weapons through evidence for wildlife violations, more often than other law enforcement agencies because of the nature of the crimes the WGFD encounters.
Firearms obtained from every region in the state are kept in a secure weapons vault in Casper while cases are ongoing. Shorma said WGFD occasionally has use for confiscated weapons for hunter safety classes but more often, the guns are traded or sold for a useful alternative — like game warden duty weapons. The weapons are tracked by serial number as they move around, Shorma said.