David Lesh found guilty of illegal snowmobiling at Keystone Resort

David Lesh’s love of media attention finally caught up with him and played a role Friday in his conviction on two federal petty offenses.

Lesh was found guilty of riding a snowmobile illegally at a terrain park at Keystone Resort on April 24, 2020, and of undertaking an unauthorized commercial venture on national forestland.

A one-day trial took place in U.S. District Court in Grand Junction on Aug. 5 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gordon Gallagher. Lesh wasn’t entitled to a jury trial because the charges are petty offenses. Gallagher wrote in his ruling that he will sentence Lesh after it is determined if there is a dispute over restitution.

Lesh’s posting of pictures of himself undertaking or faking activities on national forest land played a role in the conviction, according to the judge’s ruling. Lesh posted two photos of himself snowmobiling at Keystone after the ski area was closed during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lesh also posted photos of himself seemingly defecating in Maroon Lake southwest of Aspen on Oct. 21, 2020, and walking on a log on Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon on June 10, 2020. Lesh said the lake images were digitally altered and the government didn’t argue their authenticity. However, Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Hautzinger, the prosecutor in the case, said those photos showed a pattern of Lesh promoting his business, a small outerwear company called Virtika, with controversial images of him on public lands.

That led to the petty offense charge that Lesh was “selling or offering for sale any merchandise or conducting any kind of work activity or service without authorization upon lands administered by the United States Forest Service.”

Read the full story from our partner at aspentimes.com.

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