(FixThisNation.com) – Last week federal prosecutors indicted two eagle poachers in Montana who had allegedly killed around 3,600 birds in an effort to sell their wings and tails to the black market.
The Department of Justice handed down the indictment in the state of Montana to Travis John Branson and Simon Paul have been accused of murdering thousands of birds, including certain species that are under federal protection, including bald and golden eagles. The court document alleges that one of the two suspects had even bragged before about the “killing spree.”
The charges include one count of trafficking wildlife and one count of conspiracy. Branson, 48 from Cusick, Washington has also been charged with eight counts of unlawful trafficking of bald and golden eagles, while 42-year-old Paul from St. Ignatius, Montana is facing five counts of that charge.
The arraignment is set for January 8. If the two men are found guilty they could face up to 18 and 15 years in prison respectively.
In 1940 the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act was enacted for the protection of the “bald eagle” not only because of its biological interest but also because it has become a symbol for the country and its ideals of freedom. The court document notes that in 1962 there were amendments to the measure for the protection of not only the bald eagles but also the golden eagles.
A U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana spokesperson told Newsweek in an email on Monday night that they were not going to be commenting on the indictment or the case due to it being pending.
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