Fines and Probation for Three Florida Men Guilty of Killing Non-game Birds
Orlando, Florida-The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement announced today that Joshua Lee Moores of Cocoa, Matthew Ryan Blake of Cocoa, and Aaron Hagemeister of St. Cloud, each pled guilty to one count of violating, and aiding and abetting the violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Each individual was sentenced to pay a $2,750 fine, placed on probation for three-and-a-half years during which they cannot possess firearms, and were charged a $10 special assessment fee.
On August 20, 2006, Moores, Blake and Hagemeister were allegedly crow hunting on a spoil island located in the Indian River, north of the 528 bridge in Brevard County. According to court records, the three men shot at and killed non-game, migratory birds including three black vultures, one turkey vulture, two anhingas, two grackles, four gulls, and one white ibis. An FWC law enforcement officer and a Florida Department of Environmental Protection biologist located, documented and collected the 13 dead birds.
"We are pleased that these three individuals have been held accountable for this blatant and senseless violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act," said Major Jack Daugherty, law enforcement commander for the FWC's Northeast Region.
This type of Migratory Bird Treaty Act violation is class B misdemeanor punishable by up to a $15,000 fine, six months in jail and up to five years probation.
"The USFWS will not allow the wanton and illegal take of migratory birds regardless of the type, abundance or popularity of the species. Only lawful migratory and resident game birds are legal game," said Resident Agent in Charge Andrew Aloise.
This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Middle District of Florida and investigated by officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and special agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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