United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Aaron Eich, age 29, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Chris Paclik, age 21, of Brookings, South Dakota, both appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John E. Simko on July 15, 2013, and pled guilty to the Unlawful Taking of Migratory Birds and Lacey Act Violations. They were charged by Information and Eich pled guilty to Count V of the Information that charged him and Paclik pled guilty to Count IV.
For both men, the maximum penalty upon conviction is 1 year of imprisonment, a $100,000 fine, or both; 1 year of supervised release and an additional year of supervised release upon revocation; and a $25 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charges stem from an incident wherein Eich and Paclik, along with a group of friends known as “Team Those Guys” hunted between November 24, 2012, and November 29, 2012, in Miner County, South Dakota. Eich illegally killed 65 geese and Paclik illegally killed 54 geese, both using an electronic device. Eich and Paclik admitted they knew it was illegal to use said device while goose hunting during this time of the year. After killing the geese, Eich, Paclik and others transported the dead geese from the field to various locations, in violation of federal law.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges is prosecuting the cases.
Both were released on bond pending sentencing. Eich is scheduled to be sentenced on September 5, 2013, and Paclik’s sentencing date is set for August 19, 2013.