The Daily Beast
Medical executives arrested for illegal 153 Grand Canyon hikes
Facebook / Joe Mount Washington state men violated not only COVID-19 limits, but also regular group size limits, mostly unmasked across the Grand Canyon, 153 socially distant men Facing federal crimes as they organized their hikes. JosephDonMount, who until recently was Chief Operating Officer of the Medical Clinic in Chehalis, Washington, used two buses and three vans to transport participants to and from the October 2020 event. He has been accused of lying to National Park Service officials about the plan. According to a criminal accusation issued in federal court in Arizona on May 5. The Steck Clinic administrator has confirmed that Mount no longer works there. To minimize environmental impact, rim-to-rim hikes, allegedly carried out by Mount, have been severely restricted to groups of 30 or less since 2014. Efforts to stop the COVID pandemic have since limited rim-to-rim hikes to 11 people. Mount suggested that everyone on the trip adjust with a walkie-talkie so that it would not be seen in large groups, Park Ranger Timothy Hop said in an affidavit attached to the complaint. Or a fictitious report. Deliberately interfering with civil servants while engaged in public affairs. Solicit business in the park area without permission. It violates the normal group size limit. Mount said he was unaware of the charges until The Daily Beast contacted him for comment on Wednesday. In a group hike, “live and breathe outdoors,” “with COVID and everything, people just felt itchy to get out,” Mount continued. “I didn’t do it for the benefit. People had already bought and planned plane tickets. Mount opposed allegations of violating park policy and federal law. , Claimed that everything done in groups of 10 or more was done outside. Park.https: //www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid = 10224967224154176 & set = pb.1423503533.-2207520000 .. & type = 3 According to court filings, Park Ranger noticed Mount’s plans about a month ago. The citizens involved said they would start crossing the canyon on October 24, “more than 100 rims.” “Complain about the rim hiking group” was emailed to the Grand Canyon Permit Office. Mount was charging $ 95 per person for the trip. One of the posts read “112 committed hikers from 12 different states !!!”. According to the complaint. “”[I]If you want to keep inviting your friends, I’m determined to make this work for those who want to go! In another post, former Eagle Scout Mount told participants “Precautionary … pay attention to such a large group while on the trail. Natural spread may be best. We will investigate further, post details / meetups / hiking plans and follow up over the next few weeks. ”Mount contacted Park Services to obtain a permit and“ many times about group size limits. ” I was told. Complain. However, Mount continued to “continue against park regulations” and “plan, manage, guide and hire participants for rim-to-rim hiking events.” Divide into groups of less than 10 people and have everyone board when finished. “I had two cousins hiking and I saw someone I knew on the trail, but it was a group of less than 10. Mount told The Daily Beast. A few weeks after a warning email from the people involved, The federal park ranger was able to access the Facebook group of hikes where Mount was. Updated post. At that time there were 170 registered participants and the hike still seems to be going as planned. Be wary, another ranger contacted Mount to remind him of the size limit. Mount insisted that he intended to take only a “small group” of rugby’s close friends and family friends. The complaint is stated. https: //www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid = 10224967164832693 & set = pb.1423503533 .-2207520000 .. & type = 3 The next day, Mount allegedly posted a message to the Facebook group titled “Important Announcement.” He said he had “instructed the size of the R2R group to be 11 or less” and “call from Ranger Hop”. Mount said he had to keep it unobtrusive for the weeks leading up to the trip, and according to Filing, he seemed to be planning with a wink and nod to overturn the rules. Park officials say that no more than 11 people can hike the R2R, but it doesn’t prevent me from doing one of the biggest hikes in. [sic] “Planet,” he told the group. “Remember. Nothing prevents me from hiking the Grand Canyon this day. Nothing prevents me from doing a little research to get the best out of it. But now my With a target on the back, this is the best way I still know how to hike the R2R and not be tied to any of you.-“Part of your own individual hiking group” to adjust. As a “transceiver,” the complaint says. “While in the canyon, I’m tied to you, so I don’t offer these.” A subsequent Facebook post to the group by Mount said, “153. Final list. Mount is headlamps, hiking shoes,” Positive The complaint alleges that he posted a series of “necessities”, including the attitude of “na”, “can, can”. They would have slept in the cabin while they were there, and Mount told the participants, “Check in through me, not the front desk.” https: //www.facebook.com/photo.php? fbid = 10224967173952921 & set = pb.1423503533.- 2207520000 .. & type = 3 On the first day of the hike, Park Ranger Hop, who was in contact with Mount, was mixed with about 50 people at the trailhead water station, according to court documents. I observed that. [me] They were with the “Mount Group” and were hoping to get on the South Rim passenger bus, “Hop wrote in an affidavit. “But almost all groups were very reluctant to talk about their plans, their leaders, and their events.” During the same period, Filing was identified in court documents as Andrew Spruta. Another ranger is dressed in plain clothes, with 250 people departing from the same trailhead from 200. “Many hikers told me they were part of a large group. [sic] A third park ranger at another station in the area said: [sic] We witness so many individuals moving in the same direction in this condensed time and space. Https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10224967186113225&set=pb.1423503533.-2207520000 .. & type = 3 Group “As it continued across the canyon, it was fragmented into clusters,” the complaint complained. say.The fourth ranger quoted in the filing said the individual groups “did not interact, avoided talking to each other, or pretended not to know each other.” [other] Until they leave. The ranger said hikers were communicating between groups using a small radio. Mount claimed that his intentions were not malicious and he advised for safety. When one of the hikers’ departure clusters was stopped by a ranger patroling the Bright Angel Trailhead, men in the group said they were part of a large expedition led by Mount. After confessing, the man allegedly hit the ranger on his shoulder and admitted that he shouldn’t have said that to her. The visitor quoted in the complaint is that the hiker does not maintain any kind of social distance, does not wear a mask, and is part of an organized group. Another ranger said that not all members knew each other when they encountered groups of 10 or less. A spreadsheet posted to the Facebook group reviewed by the Ranger seemed to indicate that Mount wasn’t doing it for money. .. Mount said he had raised $ 15,185 from participants and then allocated $ 15,120 for two charter buses, three passenger vans, accommodation, tips and ancillary equipment. Mount told the group that he was making a profit of $ 65.11 and said he would prepare for a new pair of hiking poles. After the hike, the Rangers continued to monitor the group’s activities. After the event, the complaint states that one of the hikers on the trip posted a message on Facebook similar to the following: “I think Joe did a great job. How about giving the” guide “a bonus for all the extra effort he had planned? [sic] Another participant said, “Memorial weekend !!!”[The] At least what we can do is Venmo Joe Mount $ 10 to put this experience together. Find out more at The Daily Beast. Get top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now! DailyBeast Membership: Beast Inside digs deeper into the stories that matter to you. learn more.