for Killing an American Bald Eagle Gets 5 years in Prison, $50,000
February 14, 2006
Tom MacKenzie, 404/679-7291
On Monday, Feb. 13, 2006, a two-year joint investigation conducted
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, the
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the Environmental Protection
Agency the concluded with the sentencing of Alfred Craft of West Monroe,
Louisiana, for the killing of an American Bald Eagle.
"This excellent investigation involved hundred of hours of work
by the U. S. Attorney's Office, Criminal Investigators of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife
Officers and Arkansas State Plant Board Inspectors." said Robert
T. Oliveri, Resident Agent in Charge of Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana
and Mississippi. “U. S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright sent
a clear message that the indiscriminate killing of wildlife by the
use of poison and tampering with witnesses in an attempt to conceal
the crime will not be tolerated in Arkansas.”
The investigation began on February 10, 2004. Arkansas Game and Fish
Officers received information about a possible wildlife poisoning on
Craft 's Izard County, Arkansas farm. The officers investigated and
found several dead animals, including vultures. They reported this
information to Special Agent Kevin Wood of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s
Office of Law Enforcement in Little Rock. Special Agent Wood and the
other investigators obtained and executed a search warrant the next
day and located deer and duck carcasses and sardines, all three laced
with Temik in order to poison meat-eating predators such as the eagle
After sending the Bald Eagle remains to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service Forensic Laboratory, Forensic Scientists determined that the
deadly agricultural pesticide named Temik was found in the stomach
of the bald eagle. Temik is a powerful poison that is normally used
on agricultural fields and crops such as rice, corn and citrus to kill
insects. Temik is extremely toxic to birds and mammals and is so dangerous
that its use is restricted by law.
On August 5, 2004 a Federal Grand Jury indicted Craft on seven counts
which included violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald and
Golden Eagle Protection Act, Federal, Insecticide and Fungicide and
Rodenticide Act as well as charges of tampering with a federal witness.
On March 8, 2005, Craft pled guilty to violating the Migratory Bird
Treaty Act and Bald and Eagle Protection Act but pled not guilty to
charges of violating the Federal, Insecticide and Fungicide and Rodenticide
Act as well as to three counts of witness tampering. On July 14, 2005,
after a lengthy trial before a federal jury, prosecuted by Assistant
U.S. Attorney Jeff LaVicka, Craft was convicted of witness tampering.
Rather than being released on bond to await sentencing U. S. District
Judge Susan Webber Wright viewed Craft as a danger and ordered him
to be detained in jail until sentencing.
On February 13, 2006, Craft was sentenced to serve five years in federal
prison, fined $50,000.00, ordered to pay $11,000.00 restitution to
the State of Arkansas and sentenced to pay the $23,000.00 per year
cost to the taxpayer for his incarceration.