Canadian Defendant Arraigned On Federal Charges Of Unlawful Trafficking Of Migratory Birds
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on July 8, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, the following individual was arraigned following the conclusion of "Operation Rolling Thunder", a multi-year investigation conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service into the illegal trafficking of eagle and migratory bird feathers and remains.
MELODY P.R. GOODSTRIKER, a 41-year-old resident of Alberta, Canada, appeared on a charge of unlawful trafficking of migratory birds on the Crow Indian Reservation. She is currently detained. If convicted of this charge, GOODSTRIKER faces possible penalties of 2 years in prison, a $2,000 fine and 1 year supervised release. The defendant pled not guilty to the charge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark S. Smith and Assistant U.S. Attorney and Criminal Chief Kris McLean are the prosecutors for the United States.
Operation Rolling Thunder", was conducted by agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, from March 2008 through February 2011. The focus of "Operation Rolling Thunder" was the unlawful trafficking in protected migratory birds, primarily Bald and Golden eagles. The Federal Statutes violated include the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
The charge, an indictment, information or complaint, is merely an accusation and all persons named as defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. A pre-trial conference and a trial date will be set and the United States will be required to prove the allegations set forth in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt.