Twisted Forks Owner Sentenced in Alligator Case
|Jan. 20, 2012|
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Clifton Lynn Everts, owner and operator of Twisted Forks Outfitter, has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced for transporting an American alligator that was illegally killed, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Everts to one year probation and further ordered him to pay $4,000 to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Operation Game Thief Program. Everts, 62, of Caldwell, Texas, was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 to the Lacey Act Reward Fund.
Everts was charged by a criminal information with one count of transporting an American alligator that had been illegally killed in violation of the Lacy Act. The Lacy Act prohibits any person from importing, exporting, transporting, selling, receiving, acquiring or purchasing any fish or wildlife or plant taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any law, treaty or regulation of the United States or in violation of any Indian tribal law.
During the plea today in federal court in Corpus Christi, the court learned Everts owns and operates Twisted Forks, an alligator hunting guide service. Everts came under investigation after an issue of Texas Fish and Game magazine featured an article describing the hunting of alligators at night by Everts. It is a violation of Texas state law to hunt alligators at night. While conducting surveillance on a lake located on a ranch in Wharton County, Texas, agents observed Everts as well as Twisted Forks employee and client bow hunting alligators at night from a boat. The client was observed killing an alligator and where loading the alligator onto Everts= truck when agents approached. After questioning Everts, the agents learned that on May 27, 2010, Everts had killed another alligator and forged the alligator tag by listing his employee as the person who killed it. Everts then drove that alligator to a taxidermist in Sealy, Texas.
As part of the factual summary read in court today, the court also heard that Everts also appeared on a hunting show called Predator Nation, at which time he was shown guiding a professional hunter and killing an alligator.
The case was investigated by agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hugo R. Martinez.