Man Charged with Selling Protected Eagle and Hawk Feathers
Las Vegas, Nev. – A man who works as an announcer at Native American Pow Wow events has been indicted on federal charges of unlawfully selling Native American costume clothing containing the feathers of federally-protected bird species, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Terry Fiddler is charged with one count of selling a dance bustle (arrangements of feathers worn on the body) in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one count of selling a dance bustle in violation of the Lacey Act, one count of selling a war bonnet (headdress) in violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and one count of selling a war bonnet in violation of the Lacey Act. The first three counts are misdemeanors and carry a penalty of up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. The fourth count is a felony and carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the Indictment, on January 24, 2008, Fiddler allegedly sold a Native American dance bustle containing golden eagle, bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, and rough-legged hawk feathers, and on February 28, 2008, Fiddler allegedly sold a Native American war bonnet containing golden eagle, bald eagle, red-tailed hawk, and rough-legged hawk feathers. Fiddler allegedly sold the dance bustle and war bonnet in Las Vegas to Special Agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who were posing undercover.
Fiddler was arrested on April 29, 2010, in Rapid City, South Dakota, by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agents. He made an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Rapid City on April 30, 2010, and was released on a personal recognizance bond. Fiddler is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leavitt at 3:00 p.m. today in Las Vegas.
This investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn C. Newman.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.