FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2009
SA Jason Bak, 217-793-9554
SA Tim Santel, 217-793-9554
Chuck Traxler, 612-713-5313
Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting Bald Eagle
Jerry Kronable, 26, of Hardin, Ill., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, in East St. Louis, Ill., to one violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act yesterday. Kronable was sentenced to pay a $5,000 fine, serve one year probation, and forfeit the rifle he used to shoot the eagle.
Kronable admitted that on Jan. 17, 2009, he noticed a bald eagle feeding on a deer carcass in a field on Degerlia Hollow Road, near the intersection of Illinois Route 100, in Hardin, Ill. Kronable stopped his vehicle and shot at the eagle, from his vehicle, with a .22 caliber rifle. The eagle was struck by at least one .22 caliber bullet. The eagle was able to fly to a nearby tree limb, but died soon after, and fell onto the roadside where it was discovered.
In an unrelated case, the mutilated carcass of another bald eagle was found about 60 miles south of Hardin, Ill., a week earlier. Because it was not known if these killings were connected, a $10,000 reward was offered for information on either killing.
The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began an investigation of both killings and received many tips from the public. “This case shows how valuable information from the public can be,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Jason Bak. “We likely would not have solved this case without public involvement.”
While several individuals came forward with the information needed to identify and sentence Kronable, none of them wanted any reward. The second bald eagle killing is still an open investigation.
Although the bald eagle was removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 2007, eagles are still protected by other state and federal laws. One of those laws is the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, a federal law that prohibits the taking or possession of bald and golden eagles.
A map showing the locations where the bald eagles were discovered is available here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=38.975425,-90.387268&spn=0.7879,1.235962&z=10&msid=101000293829647178539.0004616623446136893c5
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