Ft. Thompson Man Pleads Guilty to Firearm and Wildlife Offenses
Assistant United States Attorney
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Richard Coleman, Jr., age 25, of Ft. Thompson, appeared before U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange on August 28, 2012, and pled guilty to counts 1 and 2 of the indictment that charged him with Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person and Unlawful Taking of a Bald Eagle. The maximum penalty upon conviction of the firearm offense is 10 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both. The maximum penalty upon conviction of the wildlife offense is one year of imprisonment, a $100,000 fine, or both.
The conviction stems from an incident that occurred between December 1, 2011, and January 10, 2012, when Coleman, who had previously been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, did knowingly possess a firearm, which he used to intentionally shoot a bald eagle even though he did not have permission and knew that it was illegal to do so.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Wildlife Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for November 20, 2012. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending sentencing.