NewsCrime and Courts


Vaughn man charged for illegally breeding sheep

Arthur “Jack” Schubarth
Posted at 6:18 PM, Feb 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 13:48:36-05

GREAT FALLS — Arthur "Jack" Schubarth reached a plea agreement earlier this month in federal court for his alleged participation in a sheep-cloning operation.

According to the federal filings against him, Schubarth and his business, Sun River Enterprises in Vaughn, “engaged in the purchase, sale, and breeding of mountain sheep, mountain goats and other ungulates with a primary purpose of marketing and selling live animal and genetic material to captive hunting operations."

In other words, he was cloning sheep.

The sheep in question, however, are not native to Montana or even North America.

Argali or Marco Polo sheep are native to the mountainous West Asian areas of Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and China.

Arthur “Jack” Schubarth

Schubarth is alleged to have worked with other unnamed persons in the U.S. to receive parts of the animals and then create embryos from cloning.

He then manually gathered the DNA from the new male sheep in order to artificially impregnate the females.

The Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act strictly regulate the use and importations of certain animals, including Argali sheep.

The sheep and their DNA were to be sold to game ranches for hunting and money was exchanged, according to the documents.

Schubarth is known in the community as the founder of his namesake pet shop in downtown Great Falls, but the shop itself is not involved in this case. His son and daughter-in-law operate the shop and declined to be interviewed.

We are awaiting more information after a scheduled plea bargain is reached.