Hearing Scheduled For Professional Hunter Accused Of Violating Federal Probation
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A professional hunter from Tennessee is set for a hearing in federal court today on a government motion accusing him of hunting in violation of his probation, U.S. Barry Grissom said today.
William “Spook” Spann, 50, Dickinson, Tenn, was sentenced in February to three years on supervised release for a misdemeanor Lacey Act violation in Kansas. He pleaded guilty to transporting across state lines a white-tailed deer that was unlawfully taken in Stafford County, Kan. As part of the probation he was prohibited from hunting for six months, admonished not to commit any further federal crimes and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and $10,000 restitution.
On June 10, the federal probation office in Kansas filed a petition alleging Spann violated his probation by hunting in Tennessee and violating a Tennessee law against baiting wildlife. In court documents, Spann is alleged to have been caught on surveillance cameras hunting in Tennessee. Agents also monitored his use of social media. They found pictures on his Facebook page of Spann dressed in camouflage and posing with other hunters next to harvested turkeys. Although Spann is not accused of shooting a turkey, according to court documents he hunted by calling turkeys, carrying hunting equipment, carrying dead turkeys and placing feed as bait.
The government is proposing Spann have his probation revoked and he be ordered to serve 90 days in jail.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.