United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that James Steckley, age 44, of Kimball, South Dakota, appeared before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on October 29, 2013, and pled guilty to Count IV of the Indictment that charged him with a Lacey Act violation and an Information that charged him with Assaulting, Resisting and Impeding a Federal Officer.
The maximum penalty upon conviction on both counts is 1 year of imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine, 1 year of supervised release, an additional year of supervised release upon revocation, and a $50 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The assault charge stems from an incident wherein Steckley, on September 6, 2012, interfered with a Special Agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service while that agent was investigating the Lacey Act violations. The investigation ultimately revealed that between November 27, 2011, and December 5, 2011, in Brule County, South Dakota, Steckley, then part owner of Steckley’s Wild Dakota Outfitters, a commercial hunting operation, hosted paying clients to hunt deer without appropriate licenses.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges is prosecuting the case.
Steckley was released on bond pending sentencing which has been set for January 17, 2014.