LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that Trevor Istre22 years old, from Jennings, Louisiana, was sentenced by United States Magistrate Judge Kathleen Kay to 5 years unsupervised probation and fined $3,000 for taking migratory birds using a motor vehicle, taken migratory birds during a closed season and taken migratory birds in violation of state law. As part of his probation, Istre’s hunting and fishing privileges were suspended for 3 years. Three other people involved in the illegal activity have already been fined a total of $2,470.
Istre’s trial on the aforementioned wildlife violations was scheduled to begin on February 10, 2022, but Istre pleaded guilty to those violations on the day of his trial. The charges stemmed from an investigation into illegal hunting activity on Mardi Gras Day, February 16, 2021, when a US Fish and Wildlife K9 team wildlife officer encountered a group of individuals shooting at geese from a national road on private property. Subjects fled the area and avoided apprehension that day. Officers opened an investigation into their illegal hunting activities and located used shotgun casings and apprehended a crippled goose that day. Their investigation continued and the violators were identified, four of whom were repeat offenders with a history of wildlife violations in state and federal courts at the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge. A total of 29 illegally captured geese were seized.
Istre had previously pleaded guilty to federal wildlife violations at the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge in December 2019 and had state wildlife violations in November and December 2019 and had already paid $3,904 in fines in multiple jurisdictions for hunting violations since becoming an adult.
“Hunting violations are cases our office takes very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. “Hunting laws were created to protect our wildlife, and we will continue to work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to hold those who violate these laws accountable for their actions.”
“Our federal wildlife officers and dogs take migratory bird law enforcement in the Mississippi Flyway seriously. Restricting hunting and fishing privileges has proven to be the most effective deterrent to protecting the wild game species and public lands of Sportsman’s Paradise. Courts in the Western District of Louisiana have echoed this message, and the public wins when these types of sentences are imposed,” said Steven Strader, patrol captain for the USFWS Refugee Law Enforcement Division, Louisiana District.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Canine Team, investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. McCoy prosecuted the case.
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