DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2008                   PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                        PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                 CELL: (409) 553-9881

TWO GUILTY OF IMPORTING DEER INTO TEXAS

SHERMAN, TX – United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that two men have pleaded guilty to illegally importing wildlife into in the Eastern District of Texas. 

ROBERT LAWRENCE EICHENOUR, 51, of Bedias, Texas and BRIAN BECKER, 37, of Madelia, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to the charges today before United States Magistrate Judge Don D. Bush.

            According to information presented in court, Eichenour and Becker arranged for the secret purchase and sale of whitetail deer, after which they were transported in interstate commerce into Texas and to the Circle E Ranch, owned by Eichenour.  The importation and the possession of deer acquired from an out-of-state source are prohibited by both state and federal law because of the risk of disease transmission.

            The defendants each face up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $20,000.00 at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set.

            This case is being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shamoil Shipchandler.

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