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Gibson County Man Sentenced to Prison for Violating Federal Insecticide Statute and Migratory Bird Treaty Act


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2003

Contacts:
Leigh Ann Jordon,
USDOJ, 901-544-4231


Memphis, TN -- Terrell L. Harris, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced today that Donald Ray Keel, a Gibson County resident, was sentenced to seven months imprisonment and fined $1,000.00 by United States District Court Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr., on June 23, 2003, following his convictions for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act ("FIFRA") and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Judge Mays presided over Keel's trial, which was held in Memphis, Tennessee, in February of this year.

Count 1 of the superseding indictment charged that Keel, who was not a certified applicator of restricted use pesticides as required by FIFRA, applied Aldicarb, a restricted use pesticide, to two deer carcasses and a goat carcass and placed the carcasses in a field where various animals and birds consumed them. Count 2 of the superseding indictment charged that Keel had killed seven Red-Tailed Hawks and two Black Vultures, two of the species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, in violation of the act. FIFRA is a federal law that regulates the use of pesticides. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act regulates the taking of migratory birds such as eagles, hawks, owls and vultures.

The case was investigated by the West Tennessee Environmental Task Force. The task force was formed in order to improve the enforcement of state and federal environmental laws in Western Tennessee. Members of the task force include representatives from a number of federal, state and local agencies.

Prosecutors' offices participating in the task force include the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Tennessee, the Tennessee Attorney General's Office and the District Attorney General for the 30th Judicial District.

Other participating federal agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division, the Memphis, Tennessee office of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General, and the United States Coast Guard. State agencies participating in the task force include the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Locally, the Memphis Police Department and the Memphis Fire Department are participating in the task force.

The lead investigators in the case were Special Agent Zack Green of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Special Agent David Logue of the Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division, and Wildlife Officer Sam Bedwell of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The case was prosecuted by Joe Murphy of the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Tennessee.

For more information, please visit: http://southeast.fws.gov/news/2002/r02-062.html.


 


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