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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Navajo Man from Arizona Sentenced for Violating Migratory Bird Treaty Act

ALBQUERQUE –Daniel Chee Walley, 47, a member of the Navajo Nation from Chambers, Ariz., was sentenced this afternoon for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Nicholas E. Chavez, Special Agent in Charge of the Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement.

Walley was arrested on Sept. 14, 2012, based on an indictment charging him with selling and bartering parts of a Swainson’s hawk tail on Jan. 31, 2009, in McKinley County, N.M., without obtaining permission from the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. On Oct. 22, 2012, Walley pled guilty to the During this afternoon’s proceedings, Walley was sentenced to two months of home confinement followed by a year of probation. Walley also fined $150 to be paid to the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund.

Swainson’s hawks and other migratory birds are protected under federal wildlife laws, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. These laws prohibit the possession, use, and sale of the feathers or other parts of federally protected birds, as well as the unauthorized killing of these birds, to help ensure that bird populations remain healthy and sustainable.

“We want people to understand that over 1000 birds are safeguarded under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Service is committed to ensuring their protection,” said Nicholas E. Chavez, the US Fish and Wildlife Services Southwest Region Special Agent in Charge.

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam S. Rowley, and was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navajo Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. It is both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for its scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on its work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with its Facebook page at, follow its tweets at, watch its YouTube Channel at and download photos from its Flickr page at

Updated January 26, 2015