Southwest Mississippi hunters plead guilty to illegally killing turkeys in Kansas
Published 3:06 pm Friday, November 6, 2020
Four Mississippi men pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of illegally killing turkeys while hunting in Kansas and bringing them back to Mississippi.
Kenneth R. Britt, Jr., 51, of Wesson, Tony Grant Smith, 26, of Wesson, Barney Leon Bairfield, III, 28, of Brookhaven, and Dustin Corey Treadway, 28, of Brookhaven, pleaded guilty Thursday before Senior U.S. District Judge David Bramlette III to federal charges of killing in excess of the legal limit of Kansas wild turkeys while unlicensed and transporting the wild turkeys across state lines to Mississippi, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Colonel Steve Adcock of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, and Special Agent in Charge Stephen Clark of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
The defendants pleaded guilty to illegally killing wild turkeys in 2017 and 2018 in Kansas and traveling in interstate commerce with the turkeys to Mississippi.
The defendants traveled to Kansas and Nebraska and hunted wild turkeys taking over 25 wild turkeys without the required hunting licenses and in excess of the limit of two per person per season, in violation of Kansas law. They returned to Mississippi with trophy spurs and beards of the illegally-killed turkeys. Under the federal Lacey Act, it is unlawful for any person to transport across state lines any wildlife taken in violation of state law.
Judge Bramlette has scheduled sentencing of the defendants in the United States District Courthouse in Natchez, Mississippi, for February 9, 2021, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
“We take our mission partnering with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks in conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats very seriously. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, considers the illegal taking of native wildlife a high priority, and we will continue to work closely with our state agencies to assist them in these important joint investigations,” said Special Agent in Charge Stephen Clark of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“The fine sportsmen and women of this state can rest assured that, nationwide, conservation enforcement agencies, along with Agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will continue working together to stop the thievery and abuse of our valuable natural resources,” said Colonel Steve Adcock of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. It is being prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Darren J. LaMarca.