Midwest USA Outfitters Operated by a Pennsylvania Man Found Guilty on 13 Counts of Lacey Act Violations
DES MOINES, IA - On November 14, 2013, Rodney Eugene Hughes, a 63 year-old resident of Mayfield, Pennsylvania, doing business as Midwest USA Outfitters, Cantril, Iowa, was found guilty in federal court of seven counts of the unlawful sale and/or acquiring of deer, taken and transported in interstate commerce, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. In addition, Mr. Hughes was found guilty of six counts of willfully submitting false information as to the licensing of said deer that was intended to be transported in interstate commerce. Penalties for said crimes include a fine not more than $250,000, imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.
The evidence produced at trial showed that Hughes owned and operated a hunting guide service in Southern Iowa known as Midwest USA Outfitters. In 2008, several non-resident hunters came to Southern Iowa to hunt with Midwest USA Outfitters. These hunters came knowing they did not possess a buck tag, but were told by Hughes that he would provide them with a resident buck tag. Hughes had relatives and friends obtain hunting tags and used these tags to place on the non-resident hunters’ kill. Hughes would then report or cause to be reported the tag information to the State of Iowa by inputting the tag number belonging to people other than the hunters. This is in violation of the Lacey Act, Title 16 U.S. Code Sections 3372 and 3373; in addition to Iowa State Code Sections 483A.1; 483A.26; 483A.38; and various Iowa Administrative Code Sections.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.