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October 17, 2011

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.-- Lawrence Parawan, 57, of Wartrace, Tenn., pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga, to the misuse of a pesticide known as carbofuran, and the unlawful killing of a migratory bird. Sentencing has been set for January 30, 2012, in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga.

Parawan faces a term of six months in prison for killing a migratory bird and 30 days in prison for misuse of the pesticide carbofuran. He also faces a fine of up to $15,000 and up to one year of supervised release.

In December 2010, Parawan laced a chicken carcass with the pesticide called carbofuran which is known commercially as Furadan. Parawan placed the poisoned carcass in the open on his Bedford County, Tenn., farm intending to kill predators of his chicken farm. In all forms within the United States, by federal regulation, carbofuran is packaged with labels that contain use restrictions. Lacing a chicken carcass intending to poison wildlife is inconsistent with the use restrictions on all carbofuran labels. Several animals that came in contact with the chicken carcass were killed, including opossums, a skunk, coyotes and a neighbor’s dog. The defendant also killed a Northern Harrier Hawk (Circus Cyaneus) with the poisoned chicken carcass. The U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service in Ashland, Ore., performed an laboratory examination of the Harrier Hawk and determined that the hawk’s carcass contained carbofuran and, based on the lethality of carbofuran, had died due to being poisoned by carbofuran. The Northern Harrier Hawk is a protected bird under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian stated, “Intentional misuse of pesticides, especially when it results in the death of protected or endangered wildlife is a serious offense. I commend the cooperative efforts of the local, state and federal investigating agencies involved for their efforts in obtaining a successful outcome in this case.”

On August 2, 2011, a two-count information, which included the aforementioned charges, was filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office against Parawan. This information was the result of an ongoing investigation by Bedford County Sheriff’s Department, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division and Tennessee Department of Agriculture Regulatory Services. James T. Brooks, Assistant U.S. Attorney represented the United States.

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