Court documents reveal details of deer trading conspiracy ahead of final sentencing

Published 7:28 am Friday, April 19, 2024

NATCHEZ — Two Louisiana men charged with conspiracy to trade live-white tailed deer committed the violation sometime between October of 2020 and June 2021, court documents show. Brandon Scott Favre, of Baton Rouge, owns Mistletoe Properties just north of Natchez in Adams County was already sentenced for the crime after he pleaded guilty. 

His co-conspirator Jason Daniel Martin will have his sentencing hearing on April 23 according to court documents.  Martin also pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to trade live white-tailed deer. 

Reports from the general public and failed inspections led to the two Louisiana men being convicted of conspiracy to illegally transport live deer into Adams County. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Law Enforcement Chief Jerry Carter said the case began with a tip from the general public like most cases do in an interview in January. 

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He said in Mississippi’s administrative rules governing deer enclosures the facilities have to be inspected by the MDWFP. Inspection by officers discovered an illegal breeding enclosure on the property after officers got a tip that deer were being transported for breeding from Louisiana into Mississippi in violation of state and federal laws which are a violation of the Lacey Act. 

Court documents show more details about what happened. Documents state Favre entered a partnership or agreement with Martin to purchase, transport and receive from outside the state of Mississippi into the state of Mississippi, live white-tailed deer for hunting sometime prior to April 1, 2021. 

Martin agreed to transport a white-tailed deer from the state of Louisiana into Mississippi. Documents state Martin did not obtain a farm raising license prior to raising, selling, trading or transferring ownership of live white-tailed doe deer in violation of Louisiana law. Additionally, Martin did not maintain records of the sale, trade or transfer of the live white-tailed deer in violation of Louisiana law

Martin did not maintain proper documentation and required health records of the live white tailed doe deer including a certification that the live white tailed doe deer was free from disease such as CWD. 

On or prior to April 2021, Martin transported and delivered a white tailed deer from Louisiana to Mistletoe Properties located in Mississippi. Favre instructed a caretaker of Mistletoe Properties to receive the white tailed deer and place it into an unpermitted breeding pen located at Mistletoes Properties all in violation of Title 18 of federal law according to court documents. 

Carter said they worked with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to bring charges forward.The two men Brandon Scott Favre, 49, of Baton Rouge pleaded guilty to the charges on Nov. 8, 2023, and Jason Martin, 50, of Hackberry pled guilty to the charges on Jan. 19.

Sentencing of Favre

Favre was sentenced to a 4-year term of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. The final fine was half of the maximum penalty of $10,000. Favre will have to implement a four-year Chronic Wasting Disease sampling and testing plan on an 850-acre enclosure and will have to pay $59,808.19 in restitution for the costs conducted by the MDWFP according to the United States Attorney’s Office. Under the plan, 40 white tailed deer will have to be harvested each of the four years by MDWFP. 

At this time, the CWD Dashboard does not show any new positive detections in Adams County from sampling of the facility after the violations. The potential spread of CWD remains a concern with any illegal transportation of deer.

Martin is scheduled to be sentenced on April 23 and faces a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.