|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON|
|WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2010||PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER|
|http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txe||CELL: (409) 553-9881 DIRECT: (409) 981-7902|
WEST TEXAS BREEDER GUILTY OF SMUGGLING DEER THROUGH EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
TYLER, Texas – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 41-year-old Killeen, Texas licensed deer breeder has pleaded guilty to illegally transporting wildlife in the Eastern District of Texas.
LANCE CLAWSON pleaded guilty to smuggling whitetail deer from Oklahoma into Texas in violation of state and federal laws today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith Guthrie. Texas law prohibits any importation of live whitetail deer or live mule deer due to the threat of diseases transmittable by deer such as Chronic Wasting Disease and bovine tuberculosis.
According to information presented in court, on Oct. 15, 2008, Clawson, a licensed deer breeder who owns and operates Regency Ranch, a high-fence hunting ranch and deer breeding facility located near Goldthwaite, Texas, traveled to Muskogee, OK to purchase whitetail fawns from an Oklahoma breeder. His vehicle was stopped on Oct. 16, 2008, by Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens as he was returning with eight whitetail fawns. Clawson knew that Texas law prohibits the possession of a deer from an out of state source. A federal grand jury returned an indictment on Nov. 4, 2009, charging Clawson with federal crimes.
Clawson faces up to 5 years in federal prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.
This case is being investigated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.
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