Man Found Guilty of Illegal Mountain Lion Possession

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Marlin John Bressi III, 24, formerly of Williamsburg Drive, Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County, was found guilty of illegally possessing a western cougar today, and was ordered to pay a $300 fine by District Justice Samuel J. Magaro.

At the time the animal was confiscated in January, the seven-month old female weighed 40 pounds, and had not been spayed or de-clawed. The animal currently is being housed at a properly-permitted facility, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Mark Fair, who filed the charges. Dauphin County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bevan prosecuted the case on behalf of the Game Commission.

According to purchase records obtained as part of the investigation, Bressi purchased the cougar on Nov. 1, from a facility in Virginia. However, Fair noted that Bressi failed to obtain the proper permit from the Game Commission and did not comply with secure caging requirements stipulated by the agency.

"While state law permits Pennsylvanians to possess certain exotic animals, the law also requires that such individuals adhere to specific permit and caging regulations established by the Game Commission in order to ensure public health and safety, as well as the animal's health and welfare," Fair said.

Bressi, who currently lives in Williamsport, has 30 days to appeal the case to the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas.