News and Press Releases

Pow Wow Announcer Sentenced for Unlawful Sale of Feathers

January 13, 2012

Las Vegas, Nev. – A man who works as an announcer at Native American Pow Wow events was sentenced today to probation and restitution for his guilty plea to unlawfully selling a Native American costume headdress containing the feathers of immature golden eagle, a federally-protected bird species, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Terry Fiddler, 54, of Red Wing, Minnesota, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Roger L. Hunt to three years of probation, 100 hours of community work service, and ordered to pay $4,500 in restitution. Fiddler pleaded guilty on August 24, 2011, to one count of violating the bald and golden eagle protection act, a misdemeanor.

On February 23, 2008, Fiddler met in Las Vegas with individuals who were working as undercover agents for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and offered to make and sell to them a Native American headdress known as a "war bonnet." Fiddler told the undercover agents that he would make the war bonnet out of eagle feathers, and that it would cost $3,000. The next day, Fiddler met with the agents again and showed them the eagle feathers with which he would make the bonnet. Fiddler asked for and was paid a $2,000 deposit for making the bonnet. On February 28, 2008, Fiddler met with the undercover agents again to complete the sale. He later provided the agents with the finished war bonnet, and they paid him the additional $1,000. The National Forensic Lab identified the feathers contained in the war bonnet as being from an immature golden eagle.

While on probation, Fiddler is required to notify his probation officer in advance of attending any Pow Wow, and he is restricted from receiving any additional eagle feathers except through the National Eagle Repository or through inheritance or religious purposes.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn C. Newman.

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