Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Montana Man Indicted for Smuggling Protected Wildlife Items, Including Bald and Golden Eagle Feathers, into the United States

February 23, 2017

Contact(s):

Nick Chavez, 505/248-7889, nicholas_chavez@fws.gov

Aislinn Maestas, 505/248-6599, aislinn_maestas@fws.gov



Dennis Raymond McPherron of Hamilton, MT has been charged with illegally smuggling items made from protected wildlife, including bald and golden eagle feathers, into the United States. A one-count indictment charging McPherron was returned by a federal grand jury on February 15, 2017.

Acting U.S. Attorney for Arizona, Elizabeth A. Strange, and Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Nicholas E. Chavez, made the announcement.

According to the indictment, McPherron was caught smuggling protected wildlife items into the U.S. at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, AZ. According to investigators, McPherron was caught in possession of 220 feathers, from which the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory determined the origins as: a minimum of eight individual Northern Flickers, four endangered Military Macaws, one Bald Eagle, one Golden Eagle, one Crested Caracara, one Greater Roadrunner, one Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, one Scarlet Macaw, one unspecified toucan, and one unspecified cockatoo. 

“Illegal importation and International smuggling of protected wildlife into the United States is one of our highest priorities,” said Special Agent in Charge Nicholas Chavez. “FWS Special Agents and Wildlife Inspectors are on the front lines everyday enforcing federal laws to prevent wildlife from being exploited.”

The indictment includes forfeiture provisions, which seek to forfeit to the United States any proceeds used in or traceable to the defendant’s alleged criminal activities.

The defendant will be served with a summons requiring them to appear in federal court in Tucson, AZ, to be arraigned on the indictment. If convicted of the charges against him, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of not more than twenty years of imprisonment or fined no more than $10,000.   Charges in indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty in a court of law.            

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow our tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.

- http://www.southwest.fws.gov -


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.