United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that an Aberdeen, South Dakota, man charged with Making a False Statement to a Federal Agency was sentenced on April 17, 2012, by United States District Judge Charles B. Kornmann. Kyle Blubaugh, age 23, was sentenced to 1 year of probation and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund.
Blubaugh was indicted for Hunting Waterfowl Without a Migratory Bird Stamp, Hunting Waterfowl with an Unplugged Shotgun, Making a False Material Statement to a Federal Agent, and Witness Tampering by a federal grand jury on July 11, 2011.
The conviction stems from an incident in the fall of 2010 when United States Fish and Wildlife Refuge officers observed several individuals hunting ducks over decoys near Groton, South Dakota. When they were approached by the officers, Blubaugh told a story to the officers that he was not hunting ducks but was merely watching the hunt and calling the ducks in for the other hunters. Further investigation determined that Blubaugh had given false information to the officers. Blubaugh later admitted that he had been hunting with an unplugged shotgun in violation of the law. He pled guilty to Making a False Statement to a Federal Agent on November 21, 2011.
This case was investigated by the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife Service. Assistant United States Attorney Mikal Hanson prosecuted the case.