OK: Four Oklahomans ordered to pay $68K for killing endangered whooping cranes

 

Four Oklahomans ordered to pay $68K for killing endangered whooping cranes | News | fox23.com

10/07/2023

Four Oklahoma men were sentenced to pay restitution totaling $68,000 for unlawfully killing four endangered whooping cranes protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Joseph Roman, 43, and Justin Wine, 40, of Altus, Chanod Campbell, 32, of Gould, and Brain Lee Gollihare, Jr., 35, of Hollis, were charged earlier this year by information with taking a migratory bird for which there is no season.

According to information presented in court, on or about November 5, 2021, the four defendants were hunting at Tom Steed Reservoir in southwest Oklahoma when they killed four whooping cranes and attempted to hide the birds before leaving the scene.

All four defendants pleaded guilty and, at sentencing hearings this week a judge ordered each defendant to pay $17,000 in restitution to the International Crane Foundation and pay a $750 fine. The defendants were also each ordered to forfeit their shotguns and lose their hunting privileges in all 50 states for the next five years.

“Each of us bears responsibility to protect endangered wildlife so that the species is preserved for future generations,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Troester in a statement. “My office stands with and commends the work done by our federal and state law enforcement partners, and we hope this case serves as a warning for those who would harm endangered species.”

The whooping crane is the tallest North American bird, standing at nearly 5 feet in height and having a wingspan of 90 inches.

“This is a great example of state and federal agencies working closely together throughout the investigation. The outstanding ODWC Game Wardens were tireless in tracking down leads and in their collection of key evidence that led to this outcome,” said Nathan Erdman, Law Enforcement Chief for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Rest assured that those committing wildlife violations in Oklahoma will be caught thanks to thorough investigations like this along with tips from the public.”

 

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