Probation, fine in national monument damage case

Posted at 8:49 AM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 10:49:04-05

 A Marana man has been sentenced to one year of probation and fined $10,000 for damages at the Ironwood Forest National Monument in Tucson.

Federal prosecutors say 50-year-old John Samuel Rahe was accused of damaging vegetation and soil at the national monument.

He previously pleaded guilty to resource damage and littering in the case.

Prosecutors say Rahe drove his utility vehicle illegally off road within national monument boundaries last March.

He was accused of running over and destroying two small saguaros, a palo verde tree and more than 30 more cactuses and shrubs.

When his vehicle became stuck, authorities say Rahe attempted to free it by attaching its winch to an 8-foot saguaro, resulting in the cactus being toppled.

Rahe was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Tucson.