South Dakota Defendants Arraigned on Federal Charges of Illegally Trafficking in Eagle and Migratory Bird Remains
Assistant United States Attorney
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Mission couple has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Unlawfully Trafficking in Eagles, Unlawfully Trafficking in Migratory Birds, and Aiding & Abetting.
Shane Jones a/k/a Shane Red Hawk, age 37, and his wife, Noella Red Hawk, age 41, were indicted by a federal grand jury on March 8, 2011. Each appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on June 1, 2011, and pled not guilty to the indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is one year of imprisonment on the trafficking eagles charges and two years of imprisonment on the trafficking migratory birds charges. The charges are merely accusations, and Mr. And Mrs. Red Hawk are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation, entitled “Operation Rolling Thunder,” was conducted by agents from the US 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, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Lacey Act.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman is prosecuting the case. Both of the defendants were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal. A trial date has not yet been set.