Man Charged in Hanging Lake and Keystone Incidents
The man who was caught illegally swimming at Hanging Lake and illegally snowmobiling in Keystone has been charged and has a court date set for next week.
The man, 34-year-old David Lesh, was first caught snowmobiling off of a designated route at Keystone Ski Resort onto U.S Forest Service land back on April 24th when the resort was closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. He was not caught in the act, but instead, because of a photo, he posted to social media.
Then, on June 10th, Lesh hiked up to Hanging Lake and walked out onto the famous log that juts out into the lake, once again taking a photo of the stunt and posting it to social media.
According to a document filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, he has now been charged with the following stemming from the Hanging Lake incident:
- Entering an area closed for the protection of threatened, endangered, rare, unique, or vanishing plants, animals or fish when entering the Hanging Lake National Natural Landmark Area
- Entering an area closed for the protection of special biological communities
- Entering an area closed for the protection of property
- Entering an area closed for the protection of historical, archeological, geological, or paleontological interest
- Entering a prohibited body of water
Oddly enough, Lesh was already in trouble with the law for a similar incident when he committed the Hanging Lake and Keystone acts after illegally snowmobiling near Independence Pass back in 2019.
If found guilty, each of the charges could carry a penalty of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine, although the U.S. Attorney's Office has said that they do not plan to seek imprisonment.
Lesh is set to appear in a Grand Junction Court on September 21st.