U.S. Attorney Gregory Davis, Southern District of Mississippi, recently announced the sentencing of two men pleading guilty to a violation of the Endangered Species Act. Additionally, another man has plead guilty to the same violation and obstructing a federal investigation and is awaiting sentencing.
According to U.S. Attorney Davis, Travis Butler caused another unnamed person to kill an endangered Louisiana black bear in January 2014 in Lauderdale County. Butler and Chester Williams then transported the illegally killed bear to taxidermist David Wimberly to have it mounted. Then later, Butler caused the taxidermist to conceal the bear hide when federal and state wildlife officials began an investigation.
Wimberly and Williams were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate on June 30th. Wimberly was sentenced to one year probation, one year loss of hunting privilege, a $1,000 fine and $3,333 in restitution paid to BEaR. Wimberly must also mount the bear and surrender it to US Fish and Wildlife Services to be used for educational purposes. Williams also received one year probation, 4 months house arrest, one year loss of hunting privileges, a $1,000 fine, and $3,333 in restitution to BEaR.
Travis Butler will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate on September 3rd. As a result of his guilty plea to the obstruction charge, Butler can no longer possess a firearm.