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September 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

It’s a Wild Life: Fed Prosecutors Crack Down on Sales of Sea Turtle Eggs and Eagle Feathers

Loggerhead sea turtle/istock photo

Loggerhead sea turtle/istock photo

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — This past week has been an interesting one for federal law enforcement and wildlife.

A West Palm Beach, Fla. man pleaded guilty in federal court to unlawfully possessing 119 Loggerhead sea turtle eggs and a Phoenix man was sentenced to six months home confinement and 150 hours of community service for selling 11 bald eagle tail feathers, authorities said.

The feds apparently take this stuff seriously.

“The buying and selling of feathers of bald eagles, our nation’s symbol, is illegal and those who choose to ignore those laws will be prosecuted,” John C. Cruden, acting Assistant Atty. General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said in a statement after the sentencing Friday.

In Phoenix, Cedric E. Salabye of Dilkon, Az., was sentenced for selling the feathers.

In Florida, Bruce Wayne Bivins, 52, plead guilty to possession of the sea turtle eggs last Tuesday. He faces up to five years in prison when sentenced Nov. 9.

Court documents show that a Palm Beach police officer spotted Bivins carrying a dark bag near the Intercoastal Waterway on May 8  around 1 a.m.

Bivins took off running and dropped the bag after the cop identified himself, a U.S. Atty. press release said.  Bivins then came back and surrendered.

The officer reported that the bag contained 119 Loggerhead sea turtle eggs.

“Officers observed that about half of the eggs were covered in sand, and the other half were not covered in sand, indicating that they may have been collected from a female sea turtle while she was laying the eggs and before they touched the sand,” a U.S. Attorney press release said.

Read U.S. Attorney Press Release on Sea Turtle Eggs

Read Justice Dept. Press Release on Bald Eagle Feathers Case

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