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Bear-hunting scammer gets prison time

A northeast Wisconsin man has been sentenced to six months in prison for breaking federal wildlife laws while operating a business as a bear-hunting guide.

John Kellogg, 48, of Gillett was one on four people sentenced after a six-year investigation ended in 2011 with charges filed.

Kellogg hired others to buy other people's bear-hunting tags for $1,000 each, and to arrange to have Kellogg paid as a guide for the illegal bear hunting. By then, authorities caught wind of the scheme and arranged undercover officers from Kentucky to infiltrate the operation.

Three others who took part in the scheme were also sentenced on lesser convictions. Michael Renken, 53, Merrill; Christopher Halfmann, 41, Green Bay; and Mark Barlament, 53,Mint Hill, NC; were put on probation ranging from one to three years. Each will pay between $1,000 and $5,000 and lose sporting privileges for five to six years.

Besides his prison time, Kellogg must spend three years under federal supervision and pay $10,000 to state and federal conservation funds. He also loses his hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges for 15 years.