News and Press Releases

Donald Aime and Lawrence Mackay Plead Guilty and Sentenced in U.S. Federal Cour

Monday, May 10, 2010

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings on May 7, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn S. Ostby, DONALD AIME, a 68-year-old resident of Peoria, Arizona, and LAWRENCE MACKAY, a 64-year-old resident of Glendale, Arizona, pled guilty and were sentenced for Lacey Act violations.

They were each sentenced to a term of:

  • Probation: 1 year
  • Special Assessment: $25
  • Fine: $4,000

MACKAY was also ordered to forfeit an American Buffalo trophy mount.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

AIME and MACKAY are associated with a ministry that developed an affiliation with a Native American minister on the Crow Reservation.

In 2002 and years thereafter, the Native American minister invited AIME and MACKAY to hunt on the Crow Reservation for big game. They were given assurances from him and other Tribal members that the licenses and permission would be taken care of. Each year they hunted a variety of big game including deer, elk, buffalo, and antelope.

In 2002, a group of hunters including AIME, MACKAY, the Native American minister, and several other members of the Tribe went on a hunt without taking any game.

In 2003, AIME killed a mule deer. That year the hunting party took several other deer. The meat was donated to charitable organizations with the Tribe.

In 2004, the Crow Tribal Chairman issued a letter to AIME and MACKAY allowing them to kill and take two buffalo. Tribal employees accompanied them on a buffalo hunt during which AIME and MACKAY each killed a buffalo.

In 2005, MACKAY did not hunt in Montana. AIME did return that year and he killed a buffalo.

In 2006, AIME and MACKAY returned and hunted once again. That year their party, including the Native American minister and several Tribal members, killed several mule deer.

At no time did either AIME or MACKAY have a valid license from either the State of Montana or the Crow Tribe for the taking of big game animals.

The United States would have admitted records from the Crow Tribe indicating that, at the times pertinent to the charges against both AIME and MACKAY, the Crow Tribe had laws requiring hunters to procure and possess hunting licenses.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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