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Hunting and Fishing Guide Guilty of Federal Wildlife Violation
“Gar Guy” admits that he transported alligator killed in violation of state and federal law
BEAUMONT, Texas – A 49-year-old Kennard, Texas, hunting and fishing guide has pleaded guilty to transporting an alligator that he knew had been shot in violation of state and federal wildlife laws, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Steve Barclay, 49, pleaded guilty on Aug. 13, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Keith F. Giblin to the felony offense of transporting wildlife taken in violation of federal law. Barclay admitted that on May 8th, 16th, and 20th of 2008 he witnessed John A. McCall, a client for whom he was providing guide services, shoot and kill a total of three alligators even though Barclay knew that Texas law limits hunters to one alligator per hunter per season. Barclay admitted that he transported the alligator killed on May 20th in Leon County to Sportsman’s Memory taxidermy shop in Grapeland, Texas.
The Endangered Species Act prohibits the taking of any threatened species of fish or wildlife in violation of any federal or state regulation pertaining to such species. Alligators are listed as a threatened species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. The Lacy Act prohibits the transport, receipt, or acquisition of any wildlife taken, possessed, or transported in violation of any law, treaty, or regulation of the United States.
Although Barclay is facing up to 5 years in federal prison and a $250,000.00 fine, his plea agreement with the government, subject to approval by the court, calls for a $5,000 fine and three years’ probation.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Houston, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Criminal Investigations Division, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. It is both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for its scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on its work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov. Connect with its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/usfws, follow its tweets at www.twitter.com/usfwshq, watch its YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from its Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq.