GA: North Platte hunting guide’s client convicted of illegal transport of illegal game

https://northplattebulletin.com/north-platte-hunting-guides-client-convicted-of-illegal-transport-of-illegal-game/

07/15/2022

A Georgia hunter was sentenced Friday in federal court for illegally transporting deer that were illegally taken near North Platte.

Daniel C. Morris, 40, of Monroe, Ga. was sentenced in Lincoln, to 7 years’ probation for violating the Lacey Act – unlawfully transporting wildlife in interstate commerce. He must also pay a $5,000 fine and pay $2,000 restitution, U.S. District Judge John Gerrard said.

In the fall of 2020, Morris traveled to Noble Outdoors with two hunting partners to hunt mule deer during the archery season, Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Russell said.

During the hunt, Morris shot a mule deer buck from the roadway with a Ruger All-American 6.5 Creedmoor rifle provided and directed by Dustin Noble, guide and owner of Noble Outdoors, operating in the North Platte area.

Shooting from the road and using a firearm to take deer during archery hunting season are both prohibited. Transporting part of the carcass across state lines is a federal offense.

The conviction marks the first federal sentencing in the ongoing prosecution of numerous defendants related to violations committed by Noble Outdoors and its owner, associates, and clients, Russell said.

Morris, assisted by Noble and the hunting partners, later unlawfully dumped and discarded most of the deer carcass into a public waterway near North Platte, Russell said.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Morris surrendered antlers and other parts of the mule deer in 2020 as well as an undisclosed additional number of taxidermy mounts originating from mule deer taken during hunts at Noble Outdoors in the four preceding years — 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

The joint investigation was conducted by the office of law enforcement of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the law enforcement division of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

To date, four more defendants have pleaded guilty in Nebraska state court and been sentenced. They were ordered to pay a total of $12,500 in fines and liquidated damages for violations related to shooting deer from the road; dumping carcasses in waters of the state; hunting without permission; and improperly checking or registering pronghorn, Russell said.

 

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