WASHINGTON – Professional duck hunter and guide Jeffrey B. Foiles was sentenced today by a federal judge in Springfield, Ill., to 13 months in prison, the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division announced.
Foiles, 54, of Pleasant Hill, Ill., pleaded guilty in June 2011 to one misdemeanor count of unlawful sale of wildlife in violation of the Lacey Act, as well as one misdemeanor count of unlawfully taking migratory game birds in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. At the same time, the company that operated Foiles’ hunting club, the Fallin’ Skies Strait Meat Duck Club LLC, located in Pike County, Ill., pleaded guilty to an information charging it with one felony count of unlawful sale of wildlife in violation of the Lacey Act and one felony count of making false writings in a matter within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
According to those plea agreements, between 2003 and 2007, Foiles sold and guided waterfowl hunts at the club for the purpose of illegally hunting ducks and geese in excess of hunters’ individual daily bag limits. Guided hunters paid $250 per day for hunts at the club. Foiles and others at the club also falsified hunting records in order to conceal the excesses.
In accordance with Foiles’ plea agreement filed in June and accepted by the court today, U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore sentenced Foiles to 13 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release during which time he may not hunt or guide hunters, and to pay a $100,000 fine. As a further term of his plea agreement, Foiles has also agreed to one additional year, following completion of his term of supervised release, during which he will not hunt or guide. Foiles was ordered to self report to begin serving his sentence on November 21, 2011.
A separate sentencing hearing for Fallin’ Skies Strait Meat Duck Club LLC is scheduled for Dec. 20, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Richard Mills.
Foiles pleaded guilty to separate hunting-related wildlife charges in Canada on Sept. 14, 2011. The Canadian court has taken the plea under advisement and is expected to decide soon whether to impose the fines and three-year hunting ban jointly recommended by the defense and Canadian prosecutors.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the government of Canada. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois and the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.