NEVADA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO TRANSPORTING UNLAWFULLY KILLED MULE DEER ACROSS STATE LINES
A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Pocatello, Idaho, to one misdemeanor Lacey Act charge for his role in transporting an unlawfully tagged and hunted mule deer across state lines, Wendy J. Olson, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho, announced. The Lacey Act makes it a crime for a person to knowingly transport and acquire wildlife in interstate commerce when, in the exercise of due care, that person should have known that the wildlife had been taken, possessed, and/or transported in violation of state law.
Peter Balestracci, 49, traveled from Nevada to Idaho on October 9, 2008 for a deer hunt at Trail Creek Lodge near Soda Springs, Idaho. During the course of his outfitted hunt, Balestracci shot and tagged a deer with the non-resident junior mentored deer tag belonging to his son. Idaho law makes it a crime to transfer a hunting tag to any other person for their use, or to use a hunting tag issued to any other person. Meat and antlers from one of the deer was transported from Idaho to Balestracci’s home in Las Vegas.
Sentencing is set for May 31, 2011, in Pocatello, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge.
The prosecution is the result of an investigation led by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game.
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