Man indicted for selling protected bird feathers
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – A Window Rock man was charged last month with violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
According to a press release, the two-count indictment alleges that on January 18, 2019 and February 5, 2019, George Tom Skeet, 35, sold and offered for sale red-tailed hawk feathers, bald eagle and golden eagle. . The birds are protected under the Migratory Birds Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. To help ensure that populations of hawks, eagles and other birds remain healthy and sustainable, these laws prohibit the possession, use, and sale of feathers or other parts of birds protected by the federal government, as well as the unauthorized killing of these birds, according to the press release.
“One of our top priorities is to fight wildlife trafficking and investigate those involved in the illegal marketing of our country’s fish and wildlife,” said the special agent in charge. Phillip Land. “This successful indictment is the result of working with the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico. We will continue to work closely with all of our law enforcement partners to root out individuals who harvest protected wildlife for their own financial gain.
If convicted, Skeet faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison, three years on probation, a fine of $ 2,000 and a special fine of $ 100.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has investigated the case and US Assistant Prosecutor Novaline D. Wilson is pursuing the case.
According to the press release, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is the primary federal agency responsible for the conservation, protection and presentation of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores fisheries of national significance, conserves and restores wildlife habitats such as wetlands and is helping foreign and Native American tribal governments in their conservation efforts, according to the press release. .